Albums of the Year 2016: #17 Carly Rae Jepsen – Emotion Side B

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Yes, really. Carly Rae Jepsen might be best known for ‘Call Me Maybe’, but a one hit wonder she certainly aint. I very hesitantly checked out her 2015 album Emotion after I’d finished writing up my favourite albums of last year, having seeing a lot of positive reviews and praise for it. And you know what? I grew to completely and unironically love that album.

The production was fantastic, each song was catchy and cheerful, and if I could re-do my list for last year I think it would have ranked surprisingly high. The album made me realize that all too often I’d been listening to dark or depressing music, and a bit of happy pop ear candy goes a long way sometimes.

So enter Emotion Side B, which seems to be a collection of leftover songs from that albums sessions, fleshed out and redone into a fairly substantial EP. And damn – she did it again. This EP is just as catchy, just as fantastically produced and passionately performed as the main album was, except this time the fat has been trimmed. A lot of the songs on the back half of Emotion were fairly lacklustre when compared to the first half, but here almost every song is great.

From the woozy EDM rush of ‘Higher’ to the darker synth-pop ‘Cry’ and the bouncy ‘Store’, each one of these songs has a killer chorus that could be stuck in your head all day, and just a lot of stylistic variety. Carly tries out a lot of different pop styles across Emotion and this EP, and almost every one is a success.

I wouldn’t have expected it from someone who rose to fame with a dumb one-hit-wonder song like ‘Call Me Maybe’, but Carly RJ has proven to be one of the most interesting and consistent musicians working in mainstream pop music right now. Hopefully she can keep up the streak of great releases.

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