Album title: E.MO.TION
Artist: Carly Rae Jepsen
Already critically lauded as a ‘spotless pop album’, Jepsen’s latest offering has the potential to finally deliver the underrated songstress the acclaim she deserves. Jepsen arguably lacks the brash attitude, spangly costumes and frighteningly loyal fanbase of her more prosperous fellow pop musicians; but E.MO.TION seriously gives one of the best pop releases of 2014, Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’, a run for its money. The album title is apt – the songs are all centred on Jepsen’s feelings, usually to do with falling in or out of love. But such is the playful, simplicity of the lyrics that each track instantly feels relatable, and nothing drags or disheartens in the manner that a Lana Del Rey song might. Everything is tight, nothing feels like wasted space. Sonically, the record ultimately owes a lot to the 80s, with its addictive synth-driven beats and starry-eyed lyrics.
It’s immediately clear that E.MO.TION has been chiselled and produced to perfection, with apparently hundreds of rejections lying on the cutting room floor. It’s the undeniably infectious record that the likes of Hilary Duff failed to release during her flash-in-the-pan comeback last year.
In fact, it’s hard to settle on one track that stands out from the rest as the strongest, as nearly all are solid, and warrant plenty of replays. Perhaps ‘All That’ with it’s silky, slow-build beat and softly pleading vocals, or ‘LA Hallucinations.’ ‘There’s a little black hole in my golden cup so/You pour and I’ll say stop’, Jepsen croons, a flicker of darkness in her tone, as though she’s self-aware of the self-destructive, fame-hungry behaviour that LA seems to breed, like a deadly celebrity-slaying disease. ‘Boy Troubles,’ penned with Sia, is the first track to feature the elusive, melancholic artist, that doesn’t tug on the heart strings as much as it is a joy-filled bop. The title track ‘E.MO.TION’ peppily surmises the general atmosphere of the album, and has shrewd echoes of the chart-topping behemoth that was ‘Call Me Maybe,’ with its equally karaoke-ready chorus.
Jepsen made a smart move in teaming up with Ariel Rechtshaid – the genius behind the tight drum machine and ear-worm synthesiser sounds. Overall what’s been hewn together is a record that showcases audibly well-constructed, memorable pop music. On the surface, finding fault with ‘E.MO.TION’ as a pop album would be difficult. The trouble is that underneath, Jepsen’s refusal to solidify a more flamboyant, media-baiting demeanour may be her achilles heel. As refreshing as it is to enjoy a pop record that doesn’t repeatedly slam a stars image into the listener’s perspective, Jepsen may end up being forgotten beneath the thunderous clamour of more media-hungry stars like Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift. Carly Rae may be resting on her laurels in terms of her image; the sweetly naïve, hopeless romantic – but if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it.
UK Release Date: 18 September 2015
Listen to: Warm Blood, All That, LA Hallucinations, I Didn’t Just Come Here To Dance, When I Needed You
For fans of: Taylor Swift’s 1989, Charli XCX’s Sucker
Featured photos not owned or produced by author.