After years of radio silence Carly Rae Jepsen is back. She slipped into success with what could have been a one-hit-wonder, before disappearing as quickly as she appeared. An apparent 200 songs were written in preparation for her third album, and now three years after Kiss, it’s here.
E•MO•TION is an aptly named pop album, begging to be felt rather than just listened to. Each song is either a declaration of affection or the crooning of a relationship ending, holding similar lyrical content to her previous album. All share an obvious ‘80s inspiration and a production that adds a welcome consistency.
Each track has a unique factor, which stops them from all sounding too similar without the need for several contrasting genres racing through the album. Despite being an obviously emotionally charged album, it’s ironically lacking a full range of emotions—with danceable production being prioritised over Carly getting aggressive with some synthesisers.
The album opens with the powerful “Run Away With Me”, a song that demands to be sung full force in the shower. It starts with a gasp of saxophone, and then through the first verse builds into a chorus that explodes with intense emotion, making it the most memorable track. The sax is infectious and a head-bop at minimum is recommended with every listen.
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Lead single “I Really Like You” comes across as a modern version of her smash hit “Call Me Maybe” from 2012, which most recognise by name alone. There is a little disappointment that she hasn’t branched far from her successful roots, but it remains a catchy and enjoyable tune.
Jepsen also demonstrates the ability to release less intense, more intimate songs with “All That”. The slow-tempo ballad has an emotional intensity, best danced to at 3am with a glass of wine in hand.
Closing track “When I Needed You” discusses the mixed thought process of Me-versus-You in the needs of a relationship that has ended. It is perhaps one of the weaker songs on the album, with forgettable verses and a lack of any final crescendo that can often bring an album together. There is however enough strength throughout the start and middle of the album to contrast this.
E•MO•TION is dipped in heartbreak, but sprinkled with a sense of fun. It brings emotional polar opposites together to form a sensational pop album that could be the soundtrack to either a just-got-dumped dance party, or the first night in with a lover.