We Don’t Deserve Carly Rae Jepsen

We are not worthy of Carly Rae Jepsen.

After gifting us one of the catchiest songs in recent history, the unforgettable “Call Me Maybe,” Jepsen dropped an entire album’s worth of bangers. The album that launched a thousand think pieces. I’m talking, of course, about last year’s pop gem E•MO•TION. 

The brilliant “Boy Problems” has finally gotten the video treatment it deserves, and it may just be the best music video from this era.

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Much like its parent album, the song and video unapologetically wear the 80’s pop influences on its sleeve. There’s a dozen visual cues to films such as Pretty In Pink, with the song’s opening sounding like something straight out of a Phil Collins song. Director Petra Collins blends the throwback images with bright colors to deliver a completely ethereal and dreamy clip.

I expected nothing less from the pop star who delivered us the real Album of the Year last year (with no offense to Grimes’ ArtAngels and Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, both of which comprised my personal top 3 along with E•MO•TION). “Run Away With Me” may have inspired a wave of vines and memes, but that song and the album as a whole still remain vastly underrated. Jepson should have been a lock for every major pop award in existence, or at the very least dominated the charts. The general public can’t seem to move on from “Call Me Maybe,” and really at the end of the day that’s their loss.

Pop music is often lambasted for being mindless. There are those who feel that anyone can churn out hits and ear worm hooks; it’s too “simple.”  They’re half-right, and maybe that’s why acts who lack any sort of an identity in their music, such as Meghan Trainor, are succeeding. They’re easy to access and easy for labels to promote because in the end there’s no risk. Jepsen proves, however, that pop can be both silly and fun with smart songwriting and tight production. She gives us the best of both worlds; “Boy Problems” isn’t complex in composition but it isn’t as faceless as so many songs that do go on to be major hits. “Run Away With Me” by comparison, takes Katy Perry’s very simple “Teenage Dream” formula and improves it. The saxophone intro is the easiest talking point, but even Jepsen’s vocal performance pushes the boundaries of the box the GP has stuck her in. These are unmistakably Carly Rae Jepsen songs. She’s unmatched in evoking these giddy emotions with hooks that get lodged inside your brain. Her taste in producers, from Dev Hynes to former Vampire Weekend member Rostam Batmanglij , is similarly excellent.

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There’s already talk of a new album dropping in 2017. While the concept excites me, I’m still not ready to stop jamming out to E•MO•TION, and can’t believe so many people still don’t know of its existence. There’s something for everyone to enjoy; it’s the album that establishes Jepsen as one of our most important working pop stars, even if only a few people are listening.

 

 

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