Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘E·MO·TION’ Album: Review Revue

Bianca Gracie | August 21, 2015 7:47 am
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Carly Rae Jepsen is steadily becoming the pop star to keep your eye on this year, as the Canadian songstress has been dropping incredibly catchy and genuine music. Her latest release today (August 21) — E·MO·TION — proves to be one of the stronger pop albums of 2015.

We gave the album 4 out of 5 stars, saying: “For anyone with a passing interest in the deep recesses of synth pop in all its forms and traditions, E·MO·TION is treasure trove. Jepsen has worked her ass off to create an album that is both effervescent and light, but eminently re-listenable, offering a deceptively dense collection of tracks that will please pop music fetishists and the masses in equal measure.”

So how do other music industry critics feel about Carly Rae Jepsen’s new album? Read what they had to say down below!

:: Vulture deemed it better than “Call Me Maybe”…and 1989: “In a summer when Taylor Swift backlash is kicking up online, Jepsen has become the natural alternative to our more ubiquitous and self-important pop stars — it is, refreshingly, near impossible to imagine Carly Rae Jepsen starting a Twitter beef with anybody. If that kind of restraint is bad news for her Q score, then so be it — Emotion, in its most genuinely transcendent moments, could care less about what’s happening back on the ground.”

:: Consequence Of Sound gave it a B+, saying: “Few artists have taken a logarithmic hit like “Call Me Maybe” as a sign to push even further, to make something better, more human, and more electric. But Jepsen is the kind of singer who thrives on the stakes that unapologetic pop music offers. Everything lives or dies on a glance or a kiss; desires grow tall and come crashing down hard. Whether she gets what she wants or she goes home broken, Emotion finds life in the wanting itself.”

:: While Pitchfork presented a score of 7.4: “But whatever lessons we learn from E•MO•TION—for example, that this palette of ’80s synth sounds and Madonna hat-tips will probably endure for eternity—we don’t learn much about Jepsen. The best pop stars distill attitudes and emotions into gestures so perfect they can take on a life of their own. This is why pop icons inspire endless memes: Rihanna for when we give no fucks, Beyoncé for when we’re feeling imperial. We have Drake for performative vulnerability, Taylor for performative generosity. Jepsen, on the other hand, hasn’t captured the Internet’s imagination in the same way. Her best performance is still as a shy, boy-crazy brunette, a role she reprises on the ‘driving the speed limit on the zeitgeist’ first single ‘I Really Like You.’ Her efforts on E•MO•TION to break new ground around this reductive portrait are fitful and unconvincing.”

:: Our friends at SPIN scored the album 7 out of 10: “E•MO•TION is a better record than we deserve from a pop adept awkwardly saddled with expectations of “critical acclaim.” But Jepsen is neither pop’s savior nor its tabula rasa du jour. Her really great album was 2012, her quest to be artistically respected as a woman tagged with the scarlet letter of No Personality eternal.”

:: The Atlantic had this to say: “Basically, all of the same can be said about her follow-up, EMOTION, which, the power of media narratives being what they are, is being talked about as more ‘mature’ or ‘grown-up’ but is really just Carly being Carly. Some people take that to mean bland being bland—the 29-year-old Canadian Idol runner-up has nowhere near as distinctive/dramatic a media presence as Taylor Swift or Ariana Grande or any of the other pop titans at whose heels she theoretically nips. But that’s part of her appeal: providing a grown-up, cohesive, and gimmick-free take on bubblegum.”

:: Stereogum also shared their thoughts, naming it their Album of the Week: “But E•MO•TION doesn’t play like critic-bait — or, for that matter, like festival-bait. Instead, it plays like gleaming mall-pop turned way up past 11. ‘All That’ and ‘Warm Blood’ are way busier, more cluttered, more bombastic songs than the sorts of things those various collaborators usually make. And those are just two of the 12 songs on the album, which also includes contributions from music-business lifers like Sia and Shellback. If you’re not listening with the Wikipedia page open, you won’t have any idea who helped out with what. This is a rarity: A major-label job made with an army of producers and songwriters that feels completely cohesive. It plays like one person’s vision.”

:: The Verge said this: “It seems deeply counterintuitive then, that increasingly a pop star needs to ride in on a fully formed personal narrative in order for her songs to be successful. But pop music is about patterns and familiarity, both in the form of chorus refrains and familiar faces and characters. There’s nothing disingenuous about E•MO•TION; at the same time, Jepsen doesn’t give any of herself in it. Jepsen isn’t selling her story as a product, and thus E•MO•TION remains perfectly executed, thoroughly unscalable pop.”

:: Lastly, TIME opened with this: “Jepsen’s third studio album,E•mo•tion, is full of whizzing, industrial-strength pop songs that raid the musical closets of Cyndi Lauper and Prince and establish the 29-year-old Canadian songwriter as much more than a one-hit wonder.”

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