tue 15/10/2019

CD: Carly Rae Jepsen - Dedicated | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Carly Rae Jepsen - Dedicated

CD: Carly Rae Jepsen - Dedicated

The Canadian global cult pop star lets her songs breathe

Carly Rae Jepsen is a brilliant pop star. Her music pure and unashamed radio pop, full of the excitement of living and loving, but her status with her audience and relationship with them are a bit more like what you'd expect from a cult indie act. As Canadian Idol runner up through her earnest singer-songwriter debut album she was charming enough.

But when the perfect bubblegum of 2012's “Call Me Maybe” exploded as an enormous international hit, she went with it and parlayed the energy of the single into a career. Embracing her wonderfully unhinged fan community, and particularly the LGBT+ contingent, she seemed to manage to escape the cycles of hype and became an album artist, not just looking for the next big single but making sure every track was fully crafted.

And that evolution seems to be continuing. Where her previous two albums – Kiss in 2012 and E•MO•TION in 2015 – were, broadly speaking, powered by the thumping density and fizz of American EDM, the songs on her fourth are given more room to breathe. Especially, there's a strong thread of updated synthy, Nile Rodgers-y 80s disco-funk on songs like “Julien”, “Happy Not Knowing” and “Feels Right” that suits Jepsen down to the ground. Think Christine & The Queens with the sultriness replaced with sunshine, vaulting choruses and just a hint of Madonna in "Borderline" mode.

Other songs ride more standard modern pop and reggaeton rhythms, but altogether it's all quite mid tempo, and over 15 tracks lacks momentum. It feels churlish to find fault with someone with such a fantastic, wholesome presence – and the funkier moments here are outstanding and the album well worth a try – but the record as a whole feels more like a testing of interesting new waters than an outright triumph.


There's a strong thread of updated synthy, Nile Rodgers-y 80s disco-funk


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

Advertising feature


A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway


Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.



This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman


Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.


Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.