It’s amazing how four short lines can completely change the life of one person. In the case of former Canadian Idol contestant Carly Rae Jepsen, they’ve made her the latest Canadian export on the world music scene. But those four same lines remain the best thing on her resulting full-length album Kiss.
Hey, I just met you
And this is crazy
Here’s my number
so call me, maybe
As simple as it is, Call Me Maybe is the example of a perfect pop song. Easy to digest, memorable, insanely catchy, cute, relatively low burn rate and the song completely matches the image of the singer behind it. Carly Rae is rightfully very likeable. With the help of social media, it became an internet phenomenon helping to push it even further into the mindset of everyone with access to the digital world. Needless to say, the team behind Carly had to work fast to ensure that whatever was next was completed before the Carly Rae hype was over.
To tide things over until the record was done, Carly was enlisted to do a duet with former one-hit-wonder Owl City for Good Times. Different from both his and her breakthrough singles (Fireflies and Call Me Maybe respectively), the song serves as a pop anthem with an ear-worm melody and a bunch of one-lined-accounts leading up to the chorus “we don’t even have to try/it’s always a good time.” An easy fix to fill the time gap.
Prior to the release of Kiss, Carly Rae was presented as an innocent girl singing dare-I-say organic and chill pop songs. Her first album Tug Of War was made up of folky-pop elements along the lines of Michelle Branch‘s The Spirit Room. In Canada, a followup EP was released early 2012 that carried on with that sound except with a slightly more agressive beat behind the guitars. Kiss wipes the slate clean for her as it attempts to incorporate her innocent-pop style into a relatable and marketable modern dance/pop sound. The only other track in common from her EP and this album is Curiosity, which was remixed from its original version to fit in with the record. While it sounds modern, the original charm of the original version is lost in favour of layers of synths and beats.
The album sounds rushed with little in the way of delivering an identifiable next hit. Many of the melodies are interchangeable with what could have been songs by one-hit-wonders from the late 80s and early 90s with little variation amongst them. The incorporation of electropop over dated-sounding songs in an attempt to fit in with today’s dance/pop don’t mesh well and end up sounding forced. Nothing other than the song Carly Rae will ultimately be crowned a one-hit-wonder for stands out on this album. While there are several songs that show potential by being catchy, Kiss is the musical equivalent of using glue and tape instead of nails and cement.
1. Tiny Little Bows
2. This Kiss
3. Call Me Maybe
5. Good Time [with Owl City]
6. More Than A Memory
7. Turn Me Up
8. Hurt So Good
9. Beautiful [with Justin Bieber]
10. Tonight I’m Getting Over You
11. Guitar String/Wedding Ring
12. Your Heart Is A Muscle