Carly Rae Jepsen


It feels weird to write the words “Carly Rae Jepsen’s transitional album” but that’s what Emotion sounds like in a nutshell. 

Of course, her third album comes after mega-selling pop hit Call Me Maybe branded her a one-hit wonder, so it’s more concerned with solidifying the Canadian pop singer/songwriter’s standing as a talent with longevity than it is with replicating that surprise success.

Overall, the sound is as direct, pristine and cheerful as you’d expect, but there’s greater emphasis on mood thanks to contributions from Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes, whose signature slap bass gets the Carly Rae sparkle on R&B ballad All That, and Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij on left-field gem Warm Blood. These songs are mixed in with more typical teeny bopper collabs with top 40 producers. Of that group, the sleeper is the mid-tempo Gimme Love, with its swooping bass line courtesy of Swedish duo Mattman and Robin.

For all its unexpected sounds and catchy choruses, Emotion falters in its lyrical blandness. The goal is clearly 80s pop in the vein of Cyndi Lauper, but Jepsen lacks the attitude and wit that could truly bring these songs to life.

Top track: Gimme Love    

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