Sunday, October 4, 2015

Album Review: "E•MO•TION" by Carly Rae Jepsen

When an album is created that is so perfect, so well thought out, so well executed, it actually leaves you speechless. It has taken me this long to write about the new Carly Rae Jepsen album for this reason alone. E•MO•TION represents a stark, dramatic growth for the Canadian superstar, going from the joyous juvenile tone of 2012 masterpiece Kiss to something entirely different. On E•MO•TION, we see the same Carly that stole our hearts with the gem that was "Call Me Maybe" but also a global phenomenon ready to steal the spotlight.

Back on March 1st, Carly gave me the greatest birthday present by releasing comeback track "I Really Like You." The song encompassed all the joy that Slay Jepsen is known for injecting into her songs, but also represented something much more exciting. It started a trend of happy pop songs that brought us out of the darkness that seemed to have pervaded a lot of 2014's pop music. In fact, "I Really Like You" sounded very out of place in the modern pop sphere based on the sole fact that it was a simply ecstatic anthem about a crush. From wailing about one night stands and chandelier-swinging, Carly decided to stand out by going back to basics.

That process pervades Carly's opus, and it's funny to think that "I Really Like You" is the song that does not match up with anything else. The album is a brilliant mix of bouncy love songs like "Let's Get Lost" and "Black Heart" and pensive bangers like the title track and ode to a night out "Making The Most Of The Night." A lot of the genius in this album comes from the sheer number of collaborators on the album. The aforementioned song was crafted alongside one of the songwriters in the world Sia, along with the cheeky anthem for dealing with "Boy Problems." The Cardigans' Peter Svensson helped create "I Really Like You" and fellow Canadian popstars Tegan & Sara worked on brassy "When I Needed You."

Carly really hits it out of the park when she decides to really go for it vocally. As we all know, "Run Away With Me" is the greatest love song since 2010 turned round the corner. Carly's whispered verses rise into a confident burst of adoration and wonder during the chorus, with the all important goosebumps-moment of "we can turn the world to gold" never failing to make the world a happier place. This also takes place on "Your Type", the friend zone declaration to the important homosexual man in her life. The best part of a lot of the album comes from Carly's ability to tell fantastic stories but letting the listener create their own message based on their own experiences.

The only fault to be found with Carly's new album doesn't even have to do with the music. The album campaign was a complete mess. Who releases their album in Japan 2 months before the rest of the world and withholding such a juggernaut of a song without proper promotion? Clearly whoever is running her campaign needs to be fired. E•MO•TION not only can claim best album of 2015, but also beats a lot of the albums of the past 5 years. This includes the obvious comparison to Taylor Swift's 1989. I'm sorry but Carly just does it better. While they have many sonic similarities, it is Carly's embrace of pure pop notions that sets her apart from many of her peers.

From the bangers to the ballads, from the alt-pop stylings of "All That" and "Warm Blood" to the dance floor ready hits including bonus track "I Didn't Just Come Here To Dance" (why do these pop stars put the best songs as bonus tracks?), there is no denying that Carly has made something really special. It's sad because people won't accept that fact. They will cling to their entitled feelings of superior musical taste or adoration of Swift to just appreciate the epic music that Carly has created. It's one of those rare albums that you can imagine growing up with all over again. It has songs for falling in love, songs for broken hearts, songs for dancing, songs for crying, songs for crying while dancing, and overall songs that will make you smile whatever mood you're in. And that's the beauty of pop music, to make you feel something.

Best Listened To: Thinking of relationships gone by and getting excited for the days to come
Best Songs: Literally all of them
NSOTP Rating: 10000000000/10

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