In the summer of 2012, Call Me Maybe exploded across radio, launching talent agent Scooter Braun's latest project Carly Rae Jepsen into the limelight. Having to live up to your own success is no easy feat, and the Canadian-born singer risked becoming yet another one-hit-wonder. Her new album E.Mo.Tion proves she is more than that. Kind of.
Though there aren't any earworm tracks that are quite as catchy as Call Me Maybe, the album's first single I Really Like You does come close. Roping in Tom Hanks and fellow Braun prodigy Justin Bieber for the music video helped give the song a boost. Who doesn't love Tom Hanks lip syncing to sugary pop?
The album's opening track Run Away With Me makes a splash of pumping energy and along with the title track's playful keys, and Jepsen's melodious vocals, it's music to move to. The sleepy All That provides a break from the upbeat bubblegum, layering simple beats with bass and hammer-on guitar notes, even slipping in some vinyl scratching. Despite the lyrics, "I think I broke up with my boyfriend today / And I don't really care / I've got worse problems / I broke up with my boyfriend," Boy Problems is another solid pop track, as is Let's Get Lost and When I Needed You.
The rest of the record is much of the same syrupy sweet songs, heavily laced with 80's synth sounds, featuring lyrics about love, boys and breakups. For dance-pop fans E.Mo.Tion is enjoyable and cohesive, but it does suffer from one song blurring into the next.
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In 2013 when she first started working on the album, it was reported that Jepsen felt inspired by artists like Robyn, Kimbra, La Roux and Dragonette, and faint hints of those artists can be heard on E.Mo.Tion. But Jepsen doesn't push the musical boundaries nearly as far as these artists - especially when compared to last year's eccentric Kimbra album The Golden Echo.
Jepsen plays it safe for the most part - and that's not necessarily a bad thing if you want a basic pop album with a handful of fun tracks.
Artist: Carly Ray Jepsen
Verdict: A safe, sweet, sugary pop explosion