By Cori Rosen
Be honest, how many times have you heard 26-year-old Carly Rae Jepsen’s viral sensation “Call Me Maybe” over the past few months? I’m assuming it’s a few too many.
In the wake of this surprising success, Ms. One-Hit Wonder Jepsen attempts to show her fan base that she is more than just Justin Bieber’s side-bitch with her sophomore album Kiss, released Sept. 20. Yes, you read that correctly — sophomore album. Jepsen’s debut album Tug of War was released in 2008 when she was a virtual unknown. Jepsen climbed the ranks of fame after the Biebs created hype about her track “Call Me Maybe,” which she whipped up with writing partners Josh Ramsay and Tavish Crowe.
Canadians knew Jepsen prior to her recent success when she placed third in Canadian Idol’s fifth season back in 2007. However, it was not until fellow Canadian Bieber heard Jepsen’s track “Call Me Maybe” and signed her to his and manager Scooter Braun’s label Schoolboy Records that she claimed international attention.
After Jepsen’s collaboration with Owl City on “Good Time,” anticipation for Kiss grew. Although Jepsen will never top “Call Me Maybe,” “Good Time” was a solid attempt to branch out. However, her new album Kiss fails to escalate her career. The sound is ultra poppy, very Katy Perry-esque, nothing unexpected or thrilling.
But I am impressed with the songs “Almost Said It” and “Your Heart Is a Muscle,” because they are the only songs on the album not overshadowed by generic dance beats, so listeners can actually hear Jepsen’s vocal talent. And, of course, Jepsen mooches off of the Biebs by having him sing with her on “Beautiful,” which closely resembles the lyrics to One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful.”
In “Beautiful,” Jepsen and Bieber sing, “What makes you so beautiful, is you don’t know how beautiful you are to me,” whereas One Direction sings, “You don’t know you’re beautiful. That’s what makes you beautiful.” However, Bieber and Jepsen’s voices do complement each other and the song is super catchy.
This is an album constructed for the radio. The vast majority of the songs contain beats you can dance along to, making for a perky sound that will satisfy “Call Me Maybe” listeners. Jepsen worked with writers such as Bonnie Leigh McKee (Katy Perry, Britney Spears, and Rita Ora), LMFAO’s Redfoo, and Max Martin (Taylor Swift, Pink, and the Backstreet Boys). It is also impressive that Jepsen herself was involved in the writing process for most of the songs on her new release.
Kiss, which is credited as Jepsen’s first international release, truly portrays the Canadian singer as a new member of the pop songstress club. But she still has a long way to go before separating herself from the knee-jerk “Call Me Maybe” association that exists in everyone’s minds.