A Retrospective On… Carly Rae Jepsen’s E•MO•TION: The Album of the Decade?

It was June 24, 2015.

That’s the day that, if you happened to reside in Japan, you were able to purchase Carly Rae Jepsen’s E•MO•TION, her third studio album since her run on the fifth season of Canadian Idol back in 2007. Though it would take just shy of two months for the album to come out to the rest of the globe on August 21, the album had already developed a cult following; one that only grew as the year came to a close, and the decade went on.

As 2019 ends, I’d like to look back at Carly Rae Jepsen’s E•MO•TION, my personal pick for the album of the decade. Though the album itself was released with three separate editions totalling up to nineteen tracks, 2016 saw the release of the seven-track E•MO•TION: Side B EP, before the ultimate release of Cut to the Feeling a year later. This song, which was kept off of both the album and the EP, found its release on the soundtrack for the film Ballerina. That, perhaps, speaks to the strength of the sessions for this release that a song as catchy and well-produced as Cut to the Feeling is, in essence, a “Side C” release.

The album was a breathe of fresh air upon its release. It was a throwback to 80s synth pop, but each song was well written, crafted and produced that it’s hard to really skip any track. (Though you would be forgiven if you skip I Really Like You, a song that I still can’t believe was the album’s lead single.) From the opening saxophone solo of Run Away With Me, to the tender yearning of All That, the infectious Boy Problems, the fast-paced LA Hallucinations, the double-entendre filled I Didn’t Just Come Here to Dance, to the Target and Japanese edition’s ending double-ballads of Never Get to Hold You and Love Again, there is something for everybody on E•MO•TION.

The companion EP, Side B, continues the fun. Though my personal favourite on this release was the ballad Cry, every song just continues to showcase the fine craft of this album. Highlights from this release (though I could honestly just name all seven tracks) also include Fever, First Time, Body Language and Roses.

This era was, as mentioned above, finished off by the release of Cut to the Feeling, an ultimate banger that was somehow left off of both the album and the EP. The track is a fun, high-energy pop anthem; it closed out her set on her most recent tour in support of Dedicated and the largely LGBT audience went crazy from the first night all the way to the lights fading.

Kudos go to Ms. Jepsen for crafting one of the finest pop albums; one that unfortunately never got the commercial response it deserved, but whose critical appreciation and evaluation has only continued to grow over the years.

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