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Album Review: Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘The Loneliest Time’ proves she’s still underrated

It’s been 10 years since the Canadian pop princess, Carly Rae Jepsen, released one of the most defiant pop hits of all time, “Call Me Maybe.” Her newly released sixth pop album, “The Loneliest Time,” shows yet again that she deserves that same attention from a decade ago. The album features 13 tracks and three extra bonus tracks. Within these 16 new songs, the singer has clearly matured, while also maintaining her dance-pop sound. 

The album has a classic bubblegum dance-pop sound but solemn lyrics about failed relationships and designated loneliness. The bonus track, “Keep Away,” summarizes the majority of the album as she sings: “I'm tryin' to keep away from you / I can't control the things I do / God, I miss your hands over my body though.” 

The opener, “Surrender My Heart,” gives the album a real exuberant push, as she sings about being open and honest toward her lover. It has an '80s sound, with contemporary synths glistening in the song’s catchy chorus. 

The a-side sounds like enjoying a beach on the California coast. Two of the four early-released singles, “Beach House” and “Western Wind,” perfectly send you there. “Western Wind” is a stimulating mellow track, different from her traditional dance-pop roots. It’s one of the only songs on the album where she sings with a soft, breathy voice. 

In "Beach House,” Jepsen is brutally honest as she recounts several different encounters with men. The song has a delectable chorus, the background vocals exclaiming, “I’ve got a beach house in Malibu / And I’m probably gonna hurt your feelings.”

The b-side reminisces disco, with dazzling bass lines and dancing synths. Her voice gets autotuned in “Shooting Star,” as the song sounds robotic and space themed. Track 10, “Bad Thing Twice,” embraces the disco sounds further with a deep bass line riff accompanied by her captivating vocals and melody. 

The beginning of “Anxious” sounds like a song off of The Weeknd’s “Dawn FM” with its invigorating bass line and illuminating synth waves. The song would have been a perfect collaboration between the two pop artists that have been incorporating disco into their newer music. 

The most popular song of the album is the title track, featuring another Canadian singer Rufus Wainwright.  Released before the album came out, the song made its appearance on TikTok. In the bridge, Jepsen exclaims, “I’m coming back for you baby / I’m coming back for you,” making itself a worthy soundbite. The song’s soulful bridge then soars into your ears, with its reverberating violins and angelic harmonies of the two Canadian singers. 

The music video for “The Loneliest Time” has a very fitting retro space theme, from Jepsen’s '70s-inspired hair to the campy space outfits and sets. Her music videos for the other singles, like “Western Wind” and “Beach House” reserve their suitable themes of the California west coast, all spectacular in their own way. 

“Go Find Yourself or Whatever” swerves off lanes with an ethereal, folk sound. It still keeps the similar message of being targeted towards an ex-lover, but in this go-around, the sound is more fitting to its somber lyrics. Similar to a song from Taylor Swift’s “Folklore,” Jepsen shows that she doesn’t need the constant upbeat pop techniques to make an exemplary song. 

Throughout the album, she sings many “do-do’s, da-da’s and la-la’s” that can get a little redundant while listening. Other than that, her lyricism serves the rest of the album well, consistently reverting it back to the album’s overall theme of loneliness. 

Jepsen’s new album definitely has many upbeat moments and catchy choruses, the typical formula for the pop star. Even though the album’s theme is somewhat different, she created yet another solid pop album. Jepsen has proven that she should not be considered an underrated artist; her album full of top-charting potential hits. 

@loganhumphrey_

lh129720@ohio.edu

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