CARLY RAE JEPSEN

Her 2011 sin­gle ‘Call Me Maybe’ took the world by storm, and many times since she’s proved that it was no fluke

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - THE TAKE - LOUISEBRUTON

Those not in the know might con­sider singer Carly Rae Jepsen a one-hit won­der. Her 2011 sin­gle Call Me Maybe took the world by storm, grat­ing and grind­ing against any­one with an anti-pop stance and el­e­vat­ing those who live for a joy­ful ear­worm, but that’s where the Jepsen ex­pe­ri­ence be­gan and ended for so many un­for­tu­nate fools. But Jeppo, as she’s fondly known to fans, is big­ger than that song. She’s a mod­ern-day pop ge­nius. Al­low me to en­lighten you.

Find­ing a loyal au­di­ence in the sin­gle and the lonely, Jepsen’s songs are mar­i­nated in a bit­ter-sweet sad­ness and when she serves a cho­rus, she cer­tainly doesn’t do it by halves. Her mu­sic is mu­sic to wail to, either through tears or whelps of ec­stasy, and her new sin­gle, Party for One, cel­e­brates sin­gle­hood and self-love with a not-so-sub­tle dou­ble en­ten­dre sur­rounded by swirling synths. It may have taken her a few years to find her place within a su­per-sat­u­rated pop mar­ket but now she has a cult fol­low­ing as the ma­tri­arch and the VBF for the sin­gle and the lonely.

The Cana­dian singer found her start on the fifth sea­son of Cana­dian Idol in 2007, in which she came third, and while she had mi­nor suc­cess in Canada with her de­but al­bum, Tug of War (2008), it wasn’t un­til the re­lease of Call Me Maybe that she went global. Justin Bieber posted on Twit­ter that it was “pos­si­bly the catchi­est song I’ve ever heard lol” in 2011, not long be­fore he made a video with celebrity pals Se­lena Gomez, Ash­ley Tis­dale and a few oth­ers bop­ping around a kitchen to the song.

By mid-2012 that song was every­where, and her sec­ond al­bum, Kiss, proved that her sup­posed one-hit won­der was no fluke. Alas, to over­take its suc­cess would be a huge un­der­tak­ing, and in re­al­is­ing that she could never reach those in­sane levels again, Jepsen had the free­dom to work on an al­ter­na­tive pop ca­reer.

Which brings us to 2015’s Emo­tion. Us­ing dreamy synths, the oc­ca­sional sax solo (the sax from Run Away With Me turned into one hell of a meme on Twit­ter) and all the poignancy of a beau­ti­ful 1980s bal­lad, Jepsen’s third al­bum is one of the most un­der­rated pop al­bums of the past five years. The video for lead sin­gle I Re­ally Like You fea­tures Tom Hanks lip-sync­ing the en­tire song while car­ry­ing out a mu­si­cal dance mon­tage, prov­ing that she has fans in high places.

That song’s cho­rus fol­lows in the dan­ger­ously catchy vein of Call Me Maybe but it’s when Jepsen sings about un­re­quited de­sire and fan­tasies, like the heav­enly yet ag­o­nis­ing Your Type, that that sweet voice re­ally kicks into ac­tion. Call­ing on su­per-cool pop pro­duc­ers such as Greg Kurstin, Mattman & Robin, Dev Hynes, Ariel Recht­shaid, Shell­back and Rostam Bat­man­glij to as­sist, Emo­tion is mu­sic for pop nerds.

While most pop stars are pulling away from big pop bangers, re­leas­ing midtempo songs with close to no cho­rus , Jepsen knows how to send a cho­rus and a key change to outer space and back. Last year’s Cut to the Feel­ing is a song that has to be sung with a smile plas­tered across your face. New sin­gle Party of One is the first sin­gle from her up­com­ing fourth al­bum and, as on Emo­tion, she finds the sil­ver lin­ing in heart­break. A party of one is still a party, after all.

Find­ing a loyal au­di­ence in the sin­gle and the lonely, Jepsen’s songs are mar­i­nated in a bit­ter­sweet sad­ness, and when she serves a cho­rus, she cer­tainly doesn’t do it by halves

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