It’s hard not to think of “Call Me Maybe” whenever you hear the name Carly Rae Jepsen. The song, that garnered the attention her now labelmate Justin Bieber and manager Scooter Braun, blew up in 2012. No radio station could resist to giving it airplay, and it ended up going 9x platinum in the United States. Yet, when her second studio album – projected to be her first American hit – didn’t get the accolades it deserved, Carly Rae seemingly faded from the music world.
Carly emerged from out of nowhere in the spring of 2015 to release “I Really Like You,” a supposed follow-up to project Carly back to “Call Me Maybe” status. In a plan that worked, the single “I Really Like You” has sold over 1.4 million copies as of October 2015. The second single, “Run Away With Me,” was another thrilling track that was released in July. The album was given a perfect set-up to succeed: two lead singles, five specially premiered songs from the album, perfectly titled “Emotion,” and performances of these songs on shows like “Good Morning America” and “Saturday Night Live.” With the perfect framework to set Carly Rae to superstardom, “Emotion” (stylized as “E•MO•TION”) got all the reviews to propel her. But the sales weren’t up to par.
It’s a sad story we’ve all heard, but this story I don’t quite get.
“E•MO•TION was said to be the “Pop Album of the Year” by Billboard, Spin Magazine, Time Magazine, and more. Strangely, the record’s sales don’t back this up. An album like “E•MO•TION” has more than enough potential to compete with the likes of “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry, as well as last year’s record-breaker, “1989,” by Taylor Swift.
The album kicks off with “Run Away With Me,” the saxophone-powered track that features so much passion from Carly’s voice and a pulsating bass to keep you listening. This song is good for a late-night, windows down, long drive. (Many of the songs are good for it!) The next track, which is the title track, happens to be my personal favorite on the album. It’s a break-up song turned make-up song. With feisty lyrics in the chorus like “In your fantasy, dream about me/And all that we could do with this emotion,” Carly gets straight to point in trying to make a former flame eat his heart out. Her repetitive use of the word “babe,” adds insult to injury as well.
“I Really Like You,” the proposed “Call Me Maybe” predecessor, follows powerhouse title track with probably the most straight-forward track, lyrically, on the album. The lyrics “I really, really, really, really, really, really like you/And I want you, do you want me, do you want me, too?” confirm it, she “really likes” someone. Up next, “Gimme Love,” another one of my personal favorites, has the potential to be a strong single. It’s infectious and repetitive, the perfect combination to be a contender for the Billboard Hot 100.
The next two songs, “All That” and “Boy Problems,” are also highlights in their own rights: “All That” is a high school slow-dance dream, while “Boy Problems” is a cheery version of Carly’s girlfriend being “so tired of hearing all your boy problems.” But none of these songs prepares you for “Making The Most of The Night,” arguably the star of E•MO•TION. Carly’s lover is broken, as she’s observed, and she’s ready to piece him together. “Here I come now/Baby I’m speeding, and red lights I’ll run/What I got you need it/And I’ll run to your side when your heart is bleeding” show Carly’s passion for helping this man see his potential. Her passionate cry to help her man is shown through every line, and the quick-paced synthesizers help her out.
“Your Type,” the projected next single from “E•MO•TION,” is another pleading track. This time, she knows she’ll never have the guy she’s madly in love with, but she hopes this song will tug some of his heart strings. Admittingly, the lyrics “I’m not the type of girl for you/And I’m not going to pretend/That I’m the type of girl you call more than a friend” and “I used to be in love with you/You use to be the first thing on my mind/I know I’m just a friend to you/That I will never get to call you mine” break my heart.
“Let’s Get Lost,” the latter track, is another “windows down, car ride” song from “E•MO•TION,” which seems like a hidden theme Carly threw at us. “Let’s Get Lost” is a highlight on the album, a cute story about a girl (CRJ, duh!) who was shy to approach a guy, yet he was too good to pass up. The last two stars that shine from “E•MO•TION” are “L.A. Hallucinations” and “When I Needed You” – “L.A.” speaks on the way your mindset changes after being a successful Hollywood artist, and “When I Needed You” is more of the lovey-dovey daydream confection we’ve been falling hard for during the entirety of the album.
Overall, if I were worthy enough to give Carly Rae a grade for this perfect album, it would be an A-. The minus is only because there are some songs that could have been scrapped, tracks not even worth of mention. However, filler such is this is a crime committed by many albums.
Many expected Carly Rae to disappear with “Call Me Maybe,” but “E•MO•TION” proves she can play in the big leagues. If you want to see the perfection that is Carly Rae Jepsen’s “E•MO•TION” live, tickets are now on sale for the Philadelphia stop on her “Gimme Love Tour” on Nov. 13 at the Trocadero.
Sunny Morgan is a first-year pre-major student. She can be reached at SM848270@wcupa.edu. Her Twitter handle is @sunnyymorgg.