Showing posts with label carly rae jepsen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label carly rae jepsen. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

video review: 'dedicated' by carly rae jepsen

Okay, so this is actually better received than I would expect... huh, interesting...

Anyway, I think it's Tyler coming next, but before that...

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

album review: 'dedicated' by carly rae jepsen

I'll admit to being surprised it took this long to get this album.

And sure, some of this comes of a question of momentum, which for a cult act like Carly Rae Jepsen might not matter - and I'll admit it's strange to refer to her as a cult act when in 2012 'Call Me Maybe' was nearly the biggest song of the year but seems to have mostly vanished from even a more nostalgic conversation. But I remember actually being ahead of the curve when it came to E.MO.TION, where I covered it as a fan who was fond of her earliest stuff and then saw the hipster crowd embrace her in spades, which carried into her short follow-up the next year on Side B. And then... well, the singles kept coming and the hype was there, but the reception felt increasingly lukewarm, and it wasn't like mainstream pop was in the best of places for the sort of crossover she probably deserved earlier. So when I started hearing the mixed reception for this album, I'll admit to being worried, especially with no credits from Josh Ramsay or Devonte Hynes. Still, I'm still a fan and I wanted to believe she could stick the landing, so what did we get from Dedicated?

Friday, September 9, 2016

video review: ' side b' by carly rae jepsen

Well, you all wanted it. And I needed more time to think through Isaiah Rashad, but the bigger story is that you wanted it. 

And on that note... let's see if I can get through The Sun's Tirade. Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

album review: ' side b' by carly rae jepsen

I'm seriously starting to rethink my rule about not covering EPs.

And really, it's not even so much a rule but a guideline I gave myself to avoid getting swamped by the neverending stream of artists looking to show off their newest bundle of songs, and it's one I've been willing to break at least a couple times a year. At this point, it's borderline arbitrary, one minor stopgap to prevent my schedule from becoming overloaded. But believe it or not, I did actually have a reason why I didn't cover EPs: I liked covering albums with thematic arcs and concepts and the drive to put together a self-contained idea, and my general thinking is that you couldn't usually pull that off on an EP with two to three songs. But in a era where I've seen EPs longer than some albums - hell, Isaiah Rashad's Cilvia Demo was nearly fifty minutes - or loaded with eight or nine songs, the more you get the impression artists are calling them EPs as a stopgap, something to hold time before official releases where they can push out their extras while using that as a gentle excuse to not judge them as harshly. And in a sense that's fine, that's why most EPs were released, fragments and teasers for fans who were craving more between records - and yet in the digital era where we're no longer bound by physical space on a disc, EPs have been getting longer and longer.

So I'm left with a quandary: continue to ignore EPs except when I really, really want to highlight a neat song, or break the rule altogether to dig into Carly Rae Jepsen's E.MO.TION: Side B, a project that doesn't even attempt to hide that it's full of extras from that pretty damn good synthpop album from last year. And yet given how many critics were saying it was even better than E.MO.TION... well, I was curious. At the very least Carly Rae Jepsen's got some serious competition thanks to Shura's excellent debut Nothing's Real that dropped a few months back, and given that it is a pop record, Carly Rae Jepsen probably isn't going to be bothering with a core theme or idea anyway. So whatever, I was curious and I was looking for some good synthpop, so did with E.MO.TION: Side B did I get it?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

video review. 'e•mo•tion' by carly rae jespsen

Well, this turned out way better than expected. Who'd have known?

Okay, Billboard BREAKDOWN tomorrow, and then finally I'll get that Kamelot review done... that is, if Vince Staples and Miguel don't get in the way. Stay tuned!

album review: 'e•mo•tion' by carly rae jepsen

I didn't like 'Call Me Maybe'.

And believe it or not, I wasn't miserable during the summer of 2012 because of that fact - mostly because 2012 was a great year for pop music and I had plenty of other great songs to keep me busy across pretty much the entire year - even in Canada, where that song's ubiquity was even harder to escape. But yeah, 'Call Me Maybe' did very little for me and the overblown hype behind it made things worse: I talked a little about dramatic stakes when I reviewed Kacey Musgraves' Pageant Material a few days ago, and the complete lack of them made the overly cutesy immaturity of 'Call Me Maybe' a little too precious, even for me, and the fact that Carly Rae was deliberately playing up adolescence in her image despite being twenty-six in 2012.

So why the hell am I reviewing her newest album? Well, despite not being a fan of 'Call Me Maybe', I do like Carly Rae Jepsen and think she's a pretty decent pop starlet, especially for her knack in crafting a sticky melodic hook, and when she's on her game, she can really deliver. Hell, I placed 'Good Time', the duet she did with Owl City, as an Honourable Mention of my top hit songs of 2012, and I stand by it. Coupled with the fact she does have some relatably attractive charisma and works with producers like Marianas Trench frontman Josh Ramsey, and she does have primary writing credits on all of her own songs means I will give her a fair amount of credit, even if I do find her technical songwriting to be the biggest point where she can slip up.

And look, even though 'I Really Like You' might have one of the most completely asinine choruses in recent pop music, I can't help but find more things to like about that song every time I listen through it, so I said what the hell and picked up E.MO.TION - is it any good?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - march 21, 2015

Sometimes on Billboard BREAKDOWN, we can get some pretty rough weeks... but sometimes you the weeks where it all just clicks in some of the best ways possible. The good songs win, the bad songs lose, the new songs kick ass, and even the returning tracks aren't bad. I don't think it's quite possible to ever have a perfect week - simply based on the law of averages I reckon it's impossible to a Hot 100 that's all great music - but you can have great weeks. And folks, we came pretty close here - yeah, we got some rough songs, but we also got a bonafide classic, and I couldn't be happier about that.

Monday, November 26, 2012

transgression, sensitivity, and art: a discussion

So the Grey Cup, the final game of the Canadian Football League, is wrapping up as I write this. I honestly don't give a damn about who won either way, but watching the Twitter feed, I did notice a few things that struck my interest regarding the half-time show. First was antipathy, given as Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen were cited as performers. Now, promoters, I get that these two are some of the biggest names in Canadian pop radio right now, but you have to realize that they aren't exactly the kind of acts you want for a championship football game. Personally, I think a rock act would be a lot better. Hell, Gordon Lightfoot, who also performed, would be a better choice, if only because he'd have more name recognition amongst an older Canadian crowd. 

And incidentally, I saw all the tweets ripping on Lightfoot and asking for Bieber to come back on stage - on the one hand, they don't know any better, but on the other hand, it's still fucking infuriating. Diversify your tastes in music, youth of Canada, and stop proving all of my suspicions about your generation correct!

But besides that point, the final act was a small step in the right direction with Marianas Trench. Now, granted, Marianas Trench are a pop rock act that probably has a fair amount of overlap with Bieber's audience, but they put on a good show and they are a pretty solid act. So when I checked out Twitter, I was expecting to see the typical fangirl squeeing.

Instead I saw a number of tweets accusing Marianas Trench of making fun of people with speech impediment by performing their song 'Stutter', a song from their 2011 album Ever After