Carly Rae Jepsen - The Loneliest Time Music Album Reviews

Carly Rae Jepsen - The Loneliest Time Music Album Reviews
More interested in earmarking ideas than in formulating an overarching aesthetic proposition, Carly Rae Jepsen’s fifth album diversifies her portfolio of 1980s pop sounds.

Cynicism is typically an unwelcome visitor in Carly Rae Jepsen’s castle. She is a sword-wielding cult hero with an army of believers: in the authority of a fluttering heart, in the gulf between desire and desperation, and most importantly, in the cathartic potential of a verse, chorus, and bridge. Since unleashing her starry-eyed worldview with the breakout 2012 hit “Call Me Maybe,” Jepsen has written songs like Ask Polly letters, full of breathless confessions and earnest wondering.

Yet there is cynicism to be found on The Loneliest Time, Jepsen’s fifth album. It’s folded into “Beach House,” the second single, which chronicles the singer’s misadventures with a series of unsavory men, from a pitiful mama’s boy to someone else’s husband to a (presumably fictional) Jeffrey Dahmer type. Sacrificing melody for character voices, the song chugs along mechanically, as if played by the Chuck E. Cheese house band. Making its unsubtle bid for relevance at a time when social media is flooded with first-person Hinge horror stories, “Beach House” feels corny and dated on arrival. Worse, from Jepsen’s mouth, it sounds plain wrong. Dating sucks; men are terrible. We’ve heard this before—but from the person who brought us “Cut to the Feeling” and “Now That I Found You”?

Though in many ways a red herring, “Beach House” suggests that Jepsen, who has invested heavily in swooning ’80s pop, is looking to diversify her portfolio. The Loneliest Time considers possible paths: dialing her typical pop maximalism up to outrageous new levels of camp; dialing it back to featherweight easy listening. But Jepsen seems more interested in earmarking ideas than in formulating an overarching aesthetic proposition. In the spaces between these experiments, she’s in familiar form, dropping rapturous lyrics into fizzy synth songs like sugar cubes into champagne. The Loneliest Time isn’t the introduction of a new era—a marketing concept that demands artists reinvent themselves every few years (particularly if they are women who have aged out of the term “ingénue”). It’s just a new album. And it’s just fine.

Jepsen’s best new ideas are found on “Western Wind,” a gorgeous meeting of music and message where Rostam stops by to play congas and help Jepsen realize her earth-toned dreams of a love as natural and all-encompassing as the elements. His fingerprints are all over this track, which recalls the gentle percussiveness of Haim’s “Summer Girl” and the graceful unspooling of Maggie Rogers’ “Fallingwater,” two other standout singles for their respective artists that he produced. I would gladly take five more “Western Wind”s, but the next-closest thing is “Far Away,” a song about trying to stay grounded that ends up rollerblading down Rainbow Road, aux percussion section in tow. Rostam reappears only on “Go Find Yourself or Whatever,” a lighters-up ballad whose sentimentality is winningly cut with a dash of snark.

Rostam is one of more than a dozen writers and producers, including Jepsen’s frequent collaborator Tavish Crowe, that she brought on for this album—her own little pop factory. As on previous projects, their output was substantial: Jepsen says she used a “mad, scientific process” to whittle down the tracklist from more than a hundred song ideas. Some that made the cut feel dashed off; you wonder if Jepsen could have written less, more carefully. The breakup banger “Talking to Yourself” feels like two different Dua Lipa outtakes cut-and-pasted together, with some distracting production flourishes tossed in. On “Sideways,” a wisp of a song that barely passes the two-minute mark, Jepsen is characteristically lovestruck, lost in daydreams about her new boo. She’s so busy smiling at strangers, she forgot to write a bridge.

Loneliness isn’t the dominant emotion on this record. It’s mostly felt as the liminal space in between crushes, which remain Jepsen’s pet projects. Even on the title track, an oddball duet with fellow Canadian Rufus Wainwright, loneliness is just a speck in the rearview mirror on Jepsen’s drive to reunite with an ex: “I’m coming back for you, baby!” she yelps in a theatrical spoken-word interlude, just before the strings swoop in and a car engine revs. Her chosen palette leans disco, a genre that implies the convergence of bodies—an antidote to loneliness, built right into the music. The nearby “Shooting Star” shares a similar aesthetic orientation, all rhythm guitar bubbles and spaceship synths and vocoder effects.

The best disco song on The Loneliest Time technically isn’t even on The Loneliest Time—it’s “Anxious,” a slinky bonus track. Here, the dancefloor lights dim slightly and the text brings more emotional nuance, as Jepsen grapples with jealousy and the idea that romance is sometimes distracting, not curative. The song’s placement in overflow seating feels arbitrary, reflecting a recurring frustration: Jepsen’s albums tend to function more as vessels for songs than as fully conceived projects. Releasing both E•MO•TION and Dedicated twice, as A-sides and B-sides, blurred their conceptual boundaries for no reason other than the availability of material; it’s hard to imagine how a theoretical The Loneliest Time Side B could clarify the new record’s somewhat unfocused vision. There’s no question that Jepsen can write songs that transport you—to the heat of the moment, the late-night neon glow, the driver’s seat on the way out of town. With a more defined roadmap, the whole album might have led somewhere worth sticking around for a while.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Carly Rae Jepsen - The Loneliest Time Music Album Reviews Carly Rae Jepsen - The Loneliest Time Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on October 28, 2022 Rating: 5


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