St Olaf Reviews: Carly Rae Jepsen reaches the moon with her album “The Loneliest Hour”

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On Oct. 21, pop princess Carly Rae Jepsen released her fifth studio album, “The Loneliest Hour.” Jepsen used her time in quarantine to explore her relationship with herself as well as her love life, and bears it all in the 13-track album. While the majority of the songs echo her signature pop vocals and prominent synth bass, Jepsen pushes herself into new territory exploring new sounds and production methods. 

Jepsen uses the opening track, “Surrender My Heart,” to emphasize the honesty and vulnerability she hopes to show in the album. The opening lyrics, “So, I’ve been trying to open up/ When I lost someone, it hit rough/ I paid to toughen up in therapy/ She said to me, ‘Soften up.’” While she is most known for her 2012 earworm hit “Call Me Maybe”, Jepsen has been spending a majority of her career moving away from this and working towards establishing herself as a more serious, mature artist. Ballads like “Go Find Yourself or Whatever” push against her pop stereotype with more emphasis on lyrics and a new country twang. Despite working to prove her maturity, Jepsen doesn’t stay strictly serious. Songs like “Talking to Yourself” and “Shooting Star” are almost impossible to not dance along to. 

Arguably the most well-known song from the album is the final track, “The Loneliest Time” featuring Rufus Wainwright.    The song has risen in popularity primarily thanks to the “I’m comin’ back for you, baby/ I’m comin’ back for you” Tik Tok audio. While the song has become viral on TikTok, it does not feel tailored to the app, a trap many artists have been falling into. Although not formally on the album, the bonus tracks are worth a listen, especially “Anxious”. 

 

Although the album does fall into some pop stereotypes like repetitive lyrics and similar sounds, “The Loneliest Hour” is at its core fun! While not particularly groundbreaking, this is the kind of album that you could shuffle at a party and find a way to dance to every song. I give this album 4/5 dancing, bopping, and grooving Big Oles.

 

joy2@stolaf.edu

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