Carly Rae Jepsen - Dedicated
Carly Rae Jepsen
Four years is a long time to wait, but finally Carly Rae Jepsen has dropped the follow up to her critically acclaimed pair of albums from 2015 Emotion and Emotion: Side B. The pop landscape could not be further from where it was in 2015, but it seems like Carly Rae manages to keep her style effortlessly timeless. From the atmospheric wanderings like "No Drug Like Me" to the straight up bops like "Julien" Jepsen is able to bounce from genre to genre leaving nothing by rainbows and stars in her wake. At a time where it has felt like electropop has lost a bit of it's edge Carly Rae manages to remind you what is great about it in the first place. You almost forget that "Now That I Found You" has been out for awhile as it comes screaming in at track three cutting through the club haze with some straight up dance. "Want You in My Room" is another big time change up switching to this totally wild 80s style. Jack Antonoff's style is all over the track including the prolonged saxophone solo at the end. Each new track brings another new little discovery like "Everything He Needs" that takes synthpop and puts it through and almost classic R&B style. The blend becomes something otherworldly but incredibly comfortable at the same time. "Happy Not Knowing" is the empowerment anthem you didn't know you needed; instead of hitting on the same old tired ass topics Carly Rae takes a different writing approach and gives you a total fucking bop.
When she says the word "drama" it feels like she is giving a direct shout out to the Canadian audience because man o man does she hit that accent hard on that one, haha. "The Sound" is this stripped down deep synth track that is driven by this underlying twinkling piano. It feels like a really rich track masquerading as a pop song. This record feels far more like a slow burn than her others. Instead of being luminescent throughout it smolders and grooves gives you some time and space to approach it and then takes you on the deep dive. "Automatically in Love" has Mariah Carey vibes written all over it and moves like some of her greatest nineties R&B hits. The album does have a tendency to bounce from idea to idea leaving a clear message a bit muddled. It's something all of Jepsen's albums have suffered from, but that sort of adds to the wildness of her personality. You expect her to be one thing, this bubblegum pop princess, but she is so much more varied than that. Dedicated is a fantastic record, from an artist who just continues to do the damn thing better than anyone else. If you're not on board yet, it's time to stop listening to music altogether I think.
8.6 out of 10