Carly Rae Jepsen
2019 – Dance Pop / Synthpop / Electro-Disco
School Boy, Interscope
Dedicated is a self-love story coming straight from the future
Carly Rae Jepsen, for sure, never received proper attention. After the booming hit Call Me Maybe, Carly failed to maintain top chart success. Call Me Maybe, with the same intensity that got to the top, became nauseating, tarnishing the image of her, making everybody believe that she only made songs like that. Even with the great Emotion (2015), Carly had a hard time getting back the mainstream people. Now, with her fourth studio album, Dedicated, Jepsen, just like on Emotion, hit pop perfection and sharpened her vision.
In Dedicated¸ Carly abandoned the epic and extravagant sound and preferred to follow something more digital. In 2017, Carly collaborated with Charli XCX on Mix Tape Pop 2. This performance in duo, for sure, influenced Carly to search her own sound, or at least, something new. On her 2019’s album, Carly worked with synthesizers. Since the undecided beats and the sound of the stellar glow above our heads in “Julien” up to the instruments of “Now That I Found You” that make you jump off the street, Jepsen made a great mixing the voices, backing voice, angelic digital vocals with the ready beats, virtual drums and synths.
Just like in “Emotion”, in “Dedicated”, Carly never lets herself down, believing in love above all. The lyrics of this album are breathless, even if at times they sound poor, it still has its charm. The first track, “Julien” is magic, since the instruments with new elements and the lyrics that praises the importance of spending time with your beloved. The second one, “No Drug Like Me” put together all the stages of a drug addiction, from the innocent beginning to the mind-blowing time of sobriety. Both stages are worked with caution when it comes to instruments that sound delusional in the climax, and the lyrics that seductively describe moments of pleasure. In “Now That I Found You”, Carly took seriously the context of the lyrics (drop everything and just love) by presenting this cheery, contagious and free chorus.
With every mood of a carnival car, “Want You In My Room” is a sexy invitation for your beloved, about how can you not get away. Even with the poor chorus that may sound a little weird the first time, it’s still a good song. Like “Want You In My Room”, “Everything He Needs” has serious issues in the chorus. Even having a great production in the beginning with this terrifying sound and this “tanan tanan tanan” and have a lot of cool elements throughout the song, the chorus is really poor and nauseating. “Happy Not Knowing” has several strings that work very smart and cheerful while deal with the fear of falling in love. With a hint of jazz, rock and indie, “I’ll be Your Girl” express with finesse the jealous. “Too Much” takes you to a level of desire with Carly’s vocals debating over her hype and consequently apologizing to her beloved.
In an incredible way, Carly can maintain positivity at all times in any way. “The Sound” talks about the necessities of a relationship while this sad but dancing beat is playing in the back. While “Automatically in Love” is really generic, “Feels Right”, a collaboration of Carly with Electric Guest, is a great song, not only because it put together triangles, dark pianos and snapping fingers, but also to play with the voices of both of them creating an interesting game. “Right Words Wrong Times” seems to have a recycled sonority and also are the expectation break. “Real Love” is really beautiful and brings hope with all these deep vocals. “For Sure” has a really poor lyrics, but a great production and “Party For One” is an up-beat anthem of self-love.
Dedicated is a great album. Carly exaggerated the electronic beats excellently, creating an album full of up-beat songs. Even if some songs sound generic, they will all get you, even those with a weaker lyric. Like in Emotion, Dedicated is an epic, scary and exciting journey through love, in which, in the end, we will find self-love.