#25. Emotion Side-B
It’s been wonderful seeing Carly Rae Jepsen gracefully transition from one-hit wonder to poptimist icon over the past couple years..
…The opening one-two punch of “First Time” and “Higher” is loads of fun at every turn, while “Cry” finds her probing emotional depths that she’s only touched on before, topped off with an excellent vocal performance. “Call Me Maybe” might have been a fluke from a commercial standpoint, but artistically, she’s improved on herself with every new release. She’s absolutely earned the right to call herself “higher than the rest.”
Not many artists are as skilled at using the heartbeat of a song—the thumps that double as a device of feeling and musical pacing—as Carly Rae Jepsen, who breathes into those pulses to convey her desire for love, a new start, an ending, or whatever. The pulse of “Fever” is an ache that she falls into, deciding that her way to recover from heartbreak is to not really, not yet. Instead, she’ll invite a little more, to taste the feeling all over again: “You wanna break my heart, alright.” But, still: “Don’t break my heart tonight.” The end bleeds into the beginning into the end into the beginning, a satisfyingly masochistic loop. -Clover Hope
…..Emotion Side B* opens with the click of a cassette tape on “First Time,” as if, in this digital age, the singer were really turning over a recording to side B. The Dev Hynes-assisted record blends retro influences with a darker, more jaded eye than the A-side. “We won’t get too sentimental, not tonight,” she sings. “’Cause when my heart breaks, it always feels like the first time.” She’s unabashedly sentimental, openly romantic, refreshingly unpretentious. -Katherine Cusumano
Dev Hynes recently posted a teaser clip on his Instagram for his self-directed video for Blood Orange’s “Better Than Me”. Carly reposted it shortly after and confirm that she will be a part of it. Time to get hyped!
As you can see, it looks like the video will be heavy on the choreography. There’s no telling yet whether or not Carly will get in on any of that. She hasn’t done any choreography since the promotional performances for “I Really Like You”.
Performers at the benefit concert closed out a special evening at Webster Hall raising over $100,000 for The Ally Coalition.
Carly’s set consisted of acoustic renditions of “Runaway With Me”, “Your Type”, and “Shadows” with Jack Antonoff. The night ended with an ensemble rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Go on Your Own Way” that included Antonoff, Carly, Lauren Mayberry (Chvrches), Charli XCX, and Lorde. Click on the headline to a view these performances.
Some other notable performances of the night were Lauren Mayberry singing a cover Katy Perry’s “Firework” , Charli XCX singing her hit, “Boom Clap” with guitar accompaniment by Antonoff, and Lorde performing a heartfelt rendition of Robyn’s “Hang with Me”.
The Ally Coalition (TAC), founded by the band Fun and designer Rachel Antonoff, is a social movement created for the purpose of inspiring people, in particular their peers in the music, fashion and entertainment industry, to take action for LGBTQ equality. TAC believes that it is the responsibility of allies to support LGBTQ causes and fight against discrimination through education, awareness and advocacy. More information can be found at http://theallycoalition.org/
This year’s addendum to Emotion is still comfort food, but Jepsen’s also very clearly an adult in these albums, one who has landed on optimism rather than falling prey to it thanks to naïveté. It’s a nice perspective to adopt in these times. Side B was one of the only good surprises that happened in 2016. Jepsen released it at the end of August, injecting a little bit of life into a fairly dreary summer for music—and, you know, life. Like its predecessor, Side B is another collection of energizing, ’80s-inflected tunes.