“What’s good in music right now?”
“What should I be listening to?”
“Any new recommendations?”
You know what? Okay. Here’s the thing.
I know that the pop music scene is drier than the “Work Bitch” desert at the moment (literally what is Rihanna even doing?), but there is something very good in music — and it’s the one thing I’m almost exclusively listening to right now: Carly Rae Jepsen‘s new record, E•MO•TION.
December’s not here quite yet (at least according to my 2005 Britney wall calendar), but it’s safe to say this one’s going to be sitting at the very, very top of my Best Albums of ’15 list, right there with Madonna‘s Rebel Heart. If that’s not a truth you’re willing to accept because of your deep-rooted Jepsephobia, then nothing I’m about to say is going to change your mind, either.
If you are on board for the Jepsejourney, you’ll already know that her last record, 2012’s Kiss, is pure bliss. You’ll also know it went entirely overlooked, thanks to the global dominance of “Call Me Maybe,” which was overplayed, parodied and memed to the point where Jepsen was immediately sequestered to “one-hit wonder” status — despite an album chock full o’ potential smashes in waiting. (Really, if you’ve not experienced “Curiousity,” “Tiny Little Bows” or “Turn Me Up,” you’ve never known true joy.)
So really, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone that her 2015 follow-up, which she’s worked on over the past few years with the likes of Dev Hynes, Ariel Rechtshaid, Greg Kurstin, Shellback, Rami Yacoub, Carl Falk, Sia, Tegan & Sara and Vampire Weekend‘s Rostam (and about a hundred more of the best names in the business!), is also great. But it’s not just great! It’s even better — the production is bigger and bolder, the lyrics are more mature and the songs are just fucking amazing.
Didn’t really, really like “I Really Like You”? Don’t worry about it — that song is probably the least representative track on the whole album. It’s basically the bridge between the cutesy “Call Me Maybe” Carly that people know and her more grown sound. She tried! It was cute. Tom Hanks! Next. There’s so, so much better around the corner.
“Run Away With Me” — which is about to drop as Carly’s next official single — is essentially her own, glorious us-against-the-world “Teenage Dream.” It’s H-U-G-E. “Boy Problems” and “Making The Most Of The Night,” two Sia co-writes, are almost infuriatingly catchy. “Emotion” is a giddy, earnest ’80’s daydream. “All That” is the sparkly, Blood Orange-y soundtrack to a baby makin’ session on prom night. “Your Type” is the ultimate friend zone anthem. “Warm Blood” is wonderfully weird, left-lane pop at its finest. “Never Get To Hold You” is the kind of lush, aching synth-pop anthem that I could only dream Britney’s team would explore. (They won’t.) “I Didn’t Just Come Here To Dance” is a jaw-droppingly fierce club cut. Just…ALL OF IT.
Thought a certain, massively popular ’80’s-themed record was good? This one’s better — and I’m not sorry.
Naturally, Carly’s record label and/or management went and fucked the whole thing up by inexplicably releasing the album in Japan in June (WHY?) while simultaneously pushing back the release date in every other territory on the globe to either late August or September. Super!
Except, news flash: It’s 2015. The album is now freely swirling around on the Internet. Everyone who wanted to hear the album already has it, and those who are sleeping on Carly will surely continue to do so when the album arrives two-ish months late. Well done, all.
In the interest of saving the bulk of #EmotionPromo for release week, I’m not diving into a full-blown review of E·MO·TION (stylize it properly or we’ll never speak again) until the album officially drops in 37 years, or whenever it’s supposed to come out in America.
But just know that what Carly’s crafted for herself is truly incredible — really, really. It is.