Let’s talk about Carly Rae Jepsen. Yes, the “Call Me Maybe” girl. One-hit-wonder queen of the viral pop smash circa summer 2012. At least that’s how she’s been branded by every popstar magazine and music blog since her sophomore single, “Call Me Maybe” stormed the charts and became the song of the summer back in 2K12. What you may not know is that that smash single was just one small part of what was a basically perfect pop album. Jepsen’s Kiss was 11 tracks of perfectly crafted pop bliss and one unfortunate Justin Bieber duet. The first thing you need to do is set the way-back machine for 2012, travel back in time, and buy it. The second thing you need to do is brace yourself for Jepsen’s long-awaited return.
Jepsen’s E-Mo-Tion is set to hit stores and streaming platforms in August and it’s another round of perfect pop, this time with a synthy 80’s inflection that edges up the bubblegum charm of Kiss. How do I know this? Let’s just say that like most highly anticipated pop products in 2015, Jepsen’s latest album has entered the world a bit early and is fairly widely available for download from the torrenting platform of your choice. Of course, I’m not saying I would ever do such a thing, but suffice it to say that all 18 of CRJ’s latest tracks are out there waiting for you and they’re well worth your time.
Lead single “I Really Like You” was released back in April to much fanfare. It’s a perfect follow-up to “Call Me Maybe” — it’s all soaring vocals and school girl crushes, but it’s not an ideal intro to E-Mo-Tion. Jepsen’s latest studio album (technically her third) is no less fun than her previous effort, but it is a bit cooler. She’s toned down the effervescent pop in favor of tracks co-written by spooky songstress Sia and Dev Hynes, the master of glitchy synths.
While Kiss felt like a collection of very high quality Taylor Swift b-sides, E-Mo-Tion is angling for a seat at the cool kids table with songs like dreamy slow dance “All That” and surprisingly disco-flavored “Boy Problems,” produced by Sia and frequent collaborator Greg Kurstin. Overall, it’s a solid album that perfectly threads the needle between “Call Me Maybe” level danceability and the synth-heavy 80’s-quoting chillness that is currently in fashion. It may debut too late to be the song of the summer, but E-Mo-Tion would make the perfect soundtrack to your summer dance party should you somehow acquire it.