Ever since Canadian pop princess, Carly Rae Jepsen, hit the scene with the ultra-catchy, “Call Me Maybe,” back in 2012, it was quite evident that the term, “one-hit wonder,” did not apply here…at least in my book. Her US debut, Kiss, was filled with infectious bubblegum pop with grit reminiscent of every 90’s record you’ve ever owned with a modern twist. Now, the singer has unleashed her newest masterpiece, E•MO•TION, which I think is safe to say is some next level 80’s throwbacks bursting with, none other than, emotion and Cyndi Lauper vibes. I had the chance to preview the album a month before its release and was quite delighted with the candy my ears were devouring. What Taylor Swift failed to deliver with the whole 1989 theme, Jepsen covers tenfold and then some. Get ready, world.
“Run Away With Me” opens up the record with the most glorious sax-solo reminiscent of some St. Lucia a la Tears For Fears. Bored with the same old party, Jepsen takes her main squeeze on a tour of the city late at night for an escapade of good times and kisses under the glow of the street lights. Sounds like the perfect date to me. Title track, “Emotion,” chimes in next, reminding us of a track that may have been left out of the Kiss track list but works for this record. Emotions continue to ride high with “I Really Like You” and “Gimme Love” – two tracks worthy of that windows-down-on-a-summer-road-trip thing. One thing that Jepsen never fails to capture is that devastating feeling of hard-crushing on someone that may be out of touch. Man, I hate that feeling. Yet there’s no denying the urge to dance around your room like a schoolgirl wishing you had the nerve to tell that person how you feel.
“All That,” the album’s killer power ballad which first premiered on Jepsen’s appearance on Saturday Night Live, has enough synth to keep the stars in my eyes burning brightly while bringing me back to the nights of my childhood, playing pop records in my room dreaming about the person I would call mine one day. Easily pictured on Britney Spears’ debut, this one has karaoke written all over it and puts Jepsen on the map as an artist reemerging with depth under all of the previous gloss.
“Your Type” might as well be an anthem for underdogs everywhere who never get the guy/girl. Welcome to my life, Carly. “I’m not the type of girl for you and I’m not going to pretend that I’m the type of girl you call more than a friend.” Its tracks like these that remind us of our worth and how important it is to walk away from those who don’t recognize that.
“Let’s Get Lost” comes barging in like a leftover Janet Jackson track while “LA Hallucinations” segues us into the present as Jepsen possibly fills us in on what life has been like post “Call Me Maybe” fame. Once the perfection that is “Warm Blood” begins you won’t know how to handle all the feels – maybe a solo dance party in the dark? Sounds about right.
Closing out the standard edition of the record is “When I Needed You,” embodying the entire sentiment of E•MO•TION: honest pop with bittersweet lyrics and 80’s vibes for days. Sweet as it is infectious, you’ll be craving more with every listen. Dive into the album’s deluxe tracks for more of the goodness wrapped with a bow.
Overall, E•MO•TION is the perfect party record for a girls night or a simple solo night in. I’d be really disappointed if this record doesn’t become massive. Jepsen, as always, displays refreshing elegance and staying power, demonstrating that it is indeed possible to write pop songs that are pure and free of smut and vulgarity. Maybe the masses should take notes.
E•MO•TION is available now here.