Carly Rae returns with the follow-up to Emotion this week, here's all you need to know...
When Canadian singer and songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen released her debut album Tug of War in 2008 it was not, we think it's fair to say, an event that made the world sit up and take notice. A perfectly solid, folk-influenced album of breezy, singer-songwriter pop, the album was released only in her native Canada, just barely breaking into the top 40 of the country's album charts.
But then in 2012 Jepsen and her guitarist / songwriting partner Tavish Crowe wrote a little thing named 'Call Me Maybe'. Though it was originally styled as a folk song, Jepsen and Crowe took the song to producer and Marianas Trench frontman Josh Ramsey, where together they reimagined the song as a slick pop hit aimed squarely at conquering the charts.
Conquer the charts it did. Climbing to the Number One spot everywhere from Australia to the UK, 'Call Me Maybe' smashed records everywhere it went, becoming the biggest-selling single in 2012 (shifting 12 million copies in that year alone), the seventh-biggest single of all time, and the best-selling single of the century by any female artist.
Almost overnight, Jepsen had made the transition to full-blown pop star and her next two albums – 2012's Kiss and its 2015 follow-up Emotion – earned the singer a dedicated fanbase and established her as one of Canada's biggest pop stars.
Nearly four years have passed since Emotion's arrival, but the wait for new music is over this weke as Jepsen's brand new album makes its way into stores today. Here's everything you need to know...
A little background...
Jepsen has been talking up her new album in one way or another since as far back as 2016, periodically giving updates on the increasingly large number of songs she had written for the new album (“nearly 200”, by the most recent count), citing influences along the way including ABBA, The Bee Gees and Donna Summer.
In the meantime, Jepsen released a cover of Wham's festive hit 'Last Christmas' and contributed to the soundtrack to animated feature Ballerina, 'Cut to the Feeling'. In November last year, Jepsen unveiled her new single 'Party for One', which will feature on the deluxe version of the new album. The announcement of the album's release date and title, Dedicated, came in March this year.
Who's producing it?
Jepsen has recruited a laundry list of producers for her latest album, including production team Captain Cuts, John Hill, Anton "HighTower" Rundberg, Ayokay and Jordan Palmer, to name a handful.
Any special guests?
Just the one, with LA-based group Electric Guest putting in an appearance on 'Feels Right'.
What does it sound like?
Given the artists that Jepsen has cited as an influence on the new album, you might expect an album filled with straight-up disco tunes, but while many of the album's songs are certainly aimed at the dancefloor, the disco influence isn't anywhere near as overt as you might think.
Opener 'Julien' is perhaps the closest thing, but it's much closer to the French house take on disco made popular by the likes of Cassius and Daft Punk than anything you might have heard on the sound system at Studio 54. Jepsen's breathy delivery on 'No Drug Like Me' does have something of a Donna Summer vibe to it, but elsewhere the album is packed with the kind of glossy pop bangers you'd expect, filtering those subtle disco influences into something which sounds like a very natural follow-up to Emotion.
Does it deliver?
There are few singers on the scene right now delivering the kind of sunshine-powered pop that Carly Rae Jepsen specialises in and if you fell in love with her last two albums then Dedication will certainly not disappoint. It's difficult to see any of the songs here matching the commercial performance of 'Call Me Maybe', but there's no legislating for that kind of phenomenal success and fans will find plenty to enjoy on the new album.
Dedicated is available in hmv stores now.