Carly Rae Jepsen



For the faithful, Carly Rae Jepsen’s career has always seemed shrouded in injustice. There was her third place finish in Canadian Idol and 2008’s largely-ignored debut, followed by the viral success of 2012’s addictively-bubblegum ‘Call Me Maybe’ – a single so ubiquitous that the accompanying album, Kiss, could never compete.

Then, just when “one-hit wonder” was all but nailed-on as her epitaph, the British Columbia-born singer conjured one of the most lauded pop albums of the decade in 2015’s excellent E•MO•TION, featuring contributions from Dev Hynes, Sia and Rostam Batmanglij. And yet, as critical adoration ultimately failed to equate to actual record sales, Jepsen’s status as the perennial underdog was underscored once more.

So, at this juncture, Jeppo finds herself in a pretty unusual position for a pop star, facing unenviably high levels of artistic pressure, yet comparatively low commercial expectations. The perfect opportunity to trade that relatable charm for a slightly edgier reinvention, a la her excellent post-E•MO•TION collaborations with Charli XCX and PC Music’s Danny Harle? Well, no.

Dedicated largely offers a slicker take on E•MO•TION’s intimate, 80s-influenced pop, shorn of those left-field collaborators and wonky production touches, be it hypnagogic synths or distorted sax. The perfectly serviceable singles are the least interesting things here, overshadowed by the gorgeous, glittering synth groove of Noonie Bao co-write ‘Too Much’ and ‘Feel Right’’s buoyant combo of cowbell, piano and brass. Better still is ‘The Sound’, its delicate piano arpeggios semi-submerged beneath strutting bass and dreamy vocal harmonies.

As solid a collection as Dedicated undoubtedly is, it’s missing the magic that made Emotion such a cultural phenomenon. Without it, Jepsen seems destined to remain a cult curiosity for the foreseeable future. But then perhaps that’s how she likes it.

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.

If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.