Carly Rae Jepsen
After graduating from school, Jepsen held several minimum wage jobs, and worked as a barista and a bartender. Jepsen honed her songwriting skills with a guitar her parents gave her and, in 2007, decided to pursue her burgeoning interest in music by auditioning for the fifth season of the reality television competition Canadian Idol. She placed third in the show and was part of the Canadian Idol Top 3 concert tour. After the conclusion of the tour, Jepsen returned to British Columbia to focus on writing, recording and completing her band. Her demo recording attracted the attention of music manager Jonathan Simkin, who signed Jepsen to a management deal. Jepsen struck an independent record deal with MapleMusic Recordings and distribution via Fontana North.
Carly Rae Jepsen
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. (She told the Guardian she “spent an entire week vaping” to sound “gritty” on the song “Your Type”, yet she sounds no different on that track than on any of the others.) Ultimately, you can listen to Carly Rae Jepsen for days and still have no idea who she is.
Carly Rae Jepsen
Carly Rae Jepsen’s ambition for her new album E•MO•TION could not be clearer. “We had the biggest single in the world last time and didn’t have the biggest album,” her manager Scooter Braun told the New York Times in July, referring to her 2011 breakout hit, “Call Me Maybe”. “This time we wanted to stop worrying about singles and focus on having a critically acclaimed album.” It’s an ambitious campaign, but the Shellback-produced opener “Run Away With Me” announces it with clarion synths that sound like battle-call horns: Carly Rae is at the gates with an army, hellbent on returning home with your love.
Carly Rae Jepsen just graced the world with another bout of happiness in the form of music.The 31-year-old released her song “Cut to the Feeling,” which will be part of the soundtrack for the movie Leap!, out in August.Giving us some major ’80s-pop inspiration, Jepsen belts, “I wanna cut through the clouds, break the ceiling/ I wanna dance on the roof, you and me alone/ I wanna cut to the feeling, oh yeah!”Not only does the summer tune have us flipping our hair back and forth and using our hairbrushes as microphones, it’s also already caused her fans to go wild.
Carly Rae Jepsen (born 21 November 1985) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and actress. In 2007, she placed third on the fifth season of Canadian Idol, and independently released her debut studio album, Tug of War . In 2011, she released the single “Call Me Maybe”, which reached number one in 18 countries worldwide and became the best-selling single of 2012. That year, Jepsen released her debut extended play, Curiosity, and later her second studio album, Kiss. “I Really Like You”, the lead single from her third studio album, Emotion , reached the top 5 in the United Kingdom and top 15 in Canada.
Jepsen’s third album was tentatively due for an early 2014 release, but she stated that she would not rush the album, instead taking her time to make sure it was of quality. From February 2014, Jepsen assumed the role of Cinderella in the Broadway production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. She played the part for twelve weeks and starred alongside new cast member Fran Drescher. Jepsen spoke of her time on Broadway and taking a break from the music industry: “Being around people who not only didn’t care if you were in the pop world but actually preferred if you weren’t took my head out of that game in a really healthy way. Suddenly, it wasn’t about sitting down and writing a song but having an idea while walking through New York City and thinking ‘Where’s my phone?'”.
Carly Rae Jepsen’s third album E•MO•TION is as solid and spotless as any pop album you’re likely to hear this year, the result of several years working alongside a storied list of contributors. It is flooded with winning moments, even if it lacks the personality of great pop records.
That’s why it falls short of its ultimate goal of setting the world on fire; for all its ironclad hooks and studio precision, Jepsen’s third album, like her second, lacks the personality of the most memorable pop records. There’s an unshakeable vagueness to her—her last album was simply called Kiss, and this one bears the generic title E•MO•TION, with inexplicable punctuation. It may be flooded with winning moments—the bridge on “Gimmie Love”! the build to the last chorus on “All That”!—but E•MO•TION as a whole sounds like a slab of blank space. If only Jepsen had written her name.
On May 26, 2017, Jepsen released the single “Cut to the Feeling”.. The song was originally intended for both Emotion and Emotion: Side B, but was ultimately left off both releases and instead appeared on the soundtrack for the animated film Ballerina, in which Jepsen voices a supporting role.
Jepsen is a gay rights activist. She was scheduled to perform at the Boy Scouts of America 2013 National Scout Jamboree, along with the band Train. In March 2013, both cited the controversy over the BSA policy on gay people as barrier to their performance. Jepsen released a statement which stated, “As an artist who believes in equality for all people, I will not be participating in the Boy Scouts of America Jamboree this summer.”
This may seem like a surface-level concern, but it’s an important one, because E•MO•TION is all surface. It’s unfair to deeply scrutinize lyrics on a pop record—the goal is to write smart, but skew broad—but E•MO•TION fails to tell us who Jepsen is or wants to be. The economy of her writing is impressive, especially on songs like the shadowy “Warm Blood” or the booming closer “When I Needed You”. “LA Hallucinations”, her collaboration with members from little-known indie rock bands Zolas and Data Romance, stitches a bubblegum vocal to a no-frills electronic production. (It is also the rare pop song to include the word “BuzzFeed.”) But the album mostly feels like the conclusion of a team determined to create an unassailable pop product.