Carly Rae Jepsen: Emotion

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Posted September 15, 2015 by in Dance pop
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Rating

Overall
 
 
 
 
 

4/ 5

Details

Genre: ,
 
Producer: , , , , , , , , ,
 
Label: , ,
 
 
 
 
Genre: Dance pop, synthpop, pop
 
Producer: Mattman & Robin, Shellback, Christopher J Baran, Ben Romans, Peter Svensson, Jeff Halatrax, Ariel Rechtshaid, Dev Hynes, Stint, Zachary Gray, Rostam Batmanglij, Daniel Nigro, Greg Kurstin, The High Street, Carl Falk, Rami Yacoub, Greg Wells, LULOU, Wouter Janssen, Kyle Shearer
 
Label: 604, School Boy, Interscope
 
Format: Digital download, compact disc
 
Time: 44:02
 
Release Date: 24 June 2015
 
Spin This: "Run Away With Me," "All That," "Emotion,"
 

Pros:

Darker, edgier grooves and extra layers of diversity show positive signs on Jepsen's third LP
 

Cons:

Lack of slow ballads show weaknesses in presentation
 

Jepsen grows up a little, flirts with danger and louder beats

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Jepsen grows up a little, flirts with danger and louder beats

Give this pop rookie some credit. Carly Rae Jepsen highhandedly pulled off the summer anthem of 2012. Despite rubbing elbows with Justin Bieber and following it up with a cookie cutter pop jingle, the Owl City-guested “Good Time,” the Canadian singer-songwriter has been trying to stay above ground as a relevant act. It’s not been easy since nothing else aboard her sophomore LP Kiss rose to such occasions. Even with “Good Time” hitting number one pop, it’s been the bane of her success. Now, three years later, Jepsen has to prove she’s more than just an industry fluke.

Enter Emotion, a set so fluid with color, aspiration and ample diversity. The teenage pop sweetness heard inside Jepsen’s previous songwriting and girly vocals are still omnipresent throughout the twelve-track adventure, but she relies on bigger booms and thumps this time. “Run Away With Me,” the opening track, is genius on Jepsen. Thanks to Mattman & Robin and Shellback’s stellar production, it flirts with big city danger and pumps up a good deal of Robyn synthpop into the mold. She also allows that darkness to seep into her lyrics (“I’ll be your sinner in secret when the lights go out”). It’s the album’s grandest performance, a single that ditches the Rated G vibe of “Call Me Maybe” for something a bit spikey. Everything afterwards seems edgy in parts, but falls into a decorum of safety and cautiousness. Thankfully it isn’t the type that cluttered Kiss. Instead she teases Prince slow jams (“All That”), Chic-inspired grooves (“Boy Problems”) and feels entitled to ride the coattails of Taylor Swift’s transformation. “Your Type” almost rips off Taylor Swift’s “Style.” And then when the bubbly borderline-bubblegum pop exudes through the pours of “Let’s Get Lost,”  suddenly an outburst of gloss akin to Babyface-like New Jack Swing (think “It’s No Crime”) comes out on the sing-a-long chorus. It’s a good turn around for Jepsen, as if she’s the Neapolitan ice cream of pop.

If you’re looking for the sunny side of Jepsen, it’s abound on the dancey Eighties pop title track and “I Really Like You” (which carries quite possibly the most serendipitous bubblegum-tasting lyric of all of Jepsen’s songs). It’s a trend that seems to be tapering off, as if the ramifications of Taylor Swift’s grown-up 1989 LP and Katy Perry’s Prism are now forcing adolescent stars to grow up. But the amped-up party nature of Emotion may be the album’s biggest downfall. As good as “All That” sounds, and how comfortable it marches to the beat of Prince’s sex appeal, Jepsen is starting to look like a singer only content with Red Bull-powered dance-pop. Eventually she needs to slow things down. And with her squeaky clean vocals and almost soulless delivery, that may be where her weaknesses dwell.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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