Carly Rae Jepsen: Kiss

Posted October 22, 2012 by in



3.5/ 5


Genre: Synth-pop
Producer: Dallas Austin, Cory Enemy, Matthew Koma, Stefan Kendal Gordy, Josh Ramsay, Mighty Mike, Ryan Stewart, Rob Danzen, Adam Young, Josh Abraham, Oligee, Toby Gad, Max Martin, Lukas Hilbert, David Jamahl Listenbee, Jordan Gatsby, Klas Åhlund, Kevin Maher
Label: 604, Schoolboy, Interscope
Format: CD, digital download
Time: 42:24
Release Date: 14 September 2012
Spin This: Call Me Maybe, Curiosity, Good Time


Disco vibes and catchy melodies run the gamut


Bubblegummy and forumalic all the time; hardly a speed bump in sight

Girl-next-door vocals and bubblegum pop invade Jepsen’s sophomore disc

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Girl-next-door vocals and bubblegum pop invade Jepsen’s sophomore disc

“Call Me Maybe,” 2012’s summer anthem, is most likely set to become the “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” of the 21st century – and with good reason. It’s bubblegummy synthpop karaoke, at best. It seemed to be a practical move for Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen, who came out of the gate as the antithesis of Adele. Obviously the popular track automatically becomes the center of attraction aboard Kiss, Jepsen’s sorta-sophomore disc (debut for US audiences), but it isn’t alone in its amusement: “Tiny Little Bows” wraps itself around a few bars of Sam Cooke’s “Cupid” and dances around a peppermint candy cane with likable Spice Girls disco. “This Kiss,” “Turn Me Up” and “Curiosity” are all drizzled with Katy Perry pop and Robyn disco. And even with the Disney sounding chorus downgrading the Owl City-featured “Good Time” to a cheesy sing-a-long status, it still gets kudos for feeling innocent and commercial.

After a while, you start to easily catch on to Jepsen’s formulaic recipe. The tempo barely changes, except when she performs on Toby Gad’s productions, including the forgettable “My Heart Is Like a Muscle” and the acoustic duet with Justin Bieber. And there’s a good reason for that; ballads will ultimately unveil the frailty of her thin pipes. Think of the set as being an example of early Madonna, but with eerie Botox. Madonna was 23 when her debut album dropped; Jepsen is 26 years of age and is strangely singing songs like she’s a High School Musical freshman. But the catchy melodies and flirty grooves on Kiss will gravitate to teens and will somehow seem appetizing to the forever young crowd, give or take one or two tracks. Only cautionary episode to watch out for: The impish “Guitar String/Wedding Ring,” which sounds like a demo version of “Call Me Maybe” played on an 8-bit video game console.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine.


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