Believe it or not: I’m a huge metal fan. I grew up as a drummer, and I was always fascinated with how metal drummers push the instrument to the limit and bridge the gap from one genre to another.
I listen to different subgenres such as death metal, djent, and metalcore on a regular basis. I’m the guy that gets looks from everybody around him when sitting at a red light.
That’s why it’s incredibly shocking when people find out that one of my favourite artists of all time is Carly Rae Jepsen, and one of the most influential albums I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to is Jepsen’s 2015 release: Emotion.
As a (belated) celebration of the album’s second birthday — it was originally released two years ago yesterday — I’ve decided to give it a definitive review and help those confused souls understand why it never gets old.
How I got here
We must first discuss how I got into this position in the first place to fully understand why I think Emotion is perfect. I first became aware of Emotion after reading an article on The Verge about Carly Rae Jepsen potentially being a vampire. I am ashamed to admit this because it means I wasn’t an early adopter of Jepsen’s work. But I have to be honest.
I dropped Emotion into my Google Play library and over the course of a few weeks, I started listening to it in chunks. I liked it. So I started listening to it front to back. I loved it.
As time went on, I cut other albums out of my playlist, added new ones, but Emotion always made the cut. I started introducing friends and relatives to the album, placing a huge emphasis on “Run Away With Me,” as it’s probably the most accessible track on the album — even more accessible than that freakishly catchy, Tom Hanks-filled “I Really Like You.”
Eventually, my playlist evolved into something that was strictly Carly Rae Jepsen. I would call it a greatest hits, but most people would call it a discography — I believe every Carly Rae track is 100 per cent a “hit.” Fast forward to today, that playlist is still the foundation to my everyday commute. But why is it so good?
What makes Emotion magical isn’t that it’s a catchy pop album. It’s that it’s a technically sound pop album, which is something that’s a bit of a rarity these days. The industry is filled with trashy club beats, but Jepsen looks to tell a story about a theme: emotion.
Emotion makes us do crazy things, such as running blindly into somebody’s life. It makes us strong and independent, especially when we’re let down by those around us. It can even make us have fun and do crazy things, even when we’re stuck in the spotlight.
All of these themes are present in Emotion. “Run Away With Me” is about taking chances on somebody and leaving everything behind. “Boy Problems” is about dealing with things on one’s own after a breakup. And “LA Hallucinations” is very much a song about doing ridiculous things and figuring out the consequences later.
Keep it technical
And all of that is just the theme. The production of Emotion stands out in an overcrowded genre. The album takes influence from ’80s and ’90s disco jams, and Jepsen’s voice is absolutely killer. But not in a vampire way.
The entire album feels real. The baselines and melodies are memorable, and it’s easy to listen to from front to back. It maintains a sense of completeness that is too uncommon in this crazy world.
I cannot think of another album that sounds as meaningful as Emotion. It’s really perfect.