Carly Rae Jepsen

Published on July 9th, 2019

Carly Rae Jepsen by @AlexKanePerkins

Canadian songstress Carly Rae Jepsen is coming to the tropics in July, and it’s been a long trek to this point from her 2012 megahit “Call Me Maybe.” The relentlessly catchy track became that year’s best-selling single, reaching No. 1 in 18 countries and selling 12 million copies. Even critics fell in line behind what industry publication Billboard dubbed “the greatest chorus of the 21st century.”

But was the singer the star of the show, or was the song? Jepsen’s visibility ebbed a little after the release of the runaway single’s companion album, “Kiss.” But a close-knit following has developed around her with each subsequent album — “Emotion” in 2015, and “Dedicated,” newly released.

A musical theater trainee in her native British Columbia, Jepsen, 33, has evolved into a pop phenomenon who can also wow indie tastemakers at events such as the Pitchfork Music Festival. A former candidate for the one hit wonder arcade, Jepsen exudes a poise that comes with having survived and thrived in a fickle realm. “I feel more confident in my age and my weirdness now,” she said in a recent interview with The Guardian.

Jepsen told Vice that she prepared for “Dedicated” by penning and recording more than 200 songs, because she has to “write and write” to finally get to something she likes. “I’m like the Goldilocks of pop,” she said.

The album’s heartfelt lyrics expose her as a hopeless romantic, starting with the opening track, “Julien,” about longing for an absent love: “I’ve been all alone, all on my own / Every single night I pray / When you coming home? Coming home? / ’Cause I’ve been living for that day.” These sentiments could be mistaken for early Britney Spears, but Jepsen has set the words to expertly crafted synth melodies and in the process made perfect, updated pop for 2019.

Critics may go on about greater artistry residing in lyrics that are cryptic and double-edged. But c’mon — it’s refreshing to hear direct, relatable songs about broken hearts and long-distance love. Music aficionados can and should feel guiltlessly good listening to a refined pop album like “Dedicated,” and being excited to see Jepsen in concert.

Carly Rae Jepsen performs 8pm July 26 at the Fillmore Miami Beach. ~ Olivia Feldman

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