Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe

Is she the first Canadian Idol alum on the Jukebox?


Anthony Easton: There’s a really great music scene around Mission, BC — it’s mostly acoustic stuff, with the odd piece of nu:country and pow wow music for good measure. (They also have a pretty awesome folk festival.) It’s interesting to see stirrings of that, or at least the possibility of that, in this work. It’s a pretty standard pop song, but it does seem delightfully, earnestly, campfire-worthy. 

Iain Mew: There’s really not much to this. A chorus that in one form or another takes up 80% of the song, a beat that stays out of the way, a voice with a slight catch in the throat that (alongside her Idol positioning) has me thinking Canadian Diana Vickers, some dramatic string hits. Giving Carly and those strings the space to bounce around in works wonders though, as the sense of confused excitement and hope grows and grows into something quite powerful.

Jonathan Bogart: Too many songs are running around with more than one good idea for me to reward this for only one good idea, no matter how much I like it.

Jer Fairall: Completely frivolous, but in a particularly effervescent, cheerful way that runs completely counter to the hard edge currently infecting most modern pop. By which I mean that this really doesn’t stand a chance.

Katherine St Asaph: This is essentially a Katy Perry song aged down five years and free of my standing objections to Katy Perry songs: offensive crap, bad vocals, blown-out Luke choruses (not an objection then but an objection now; at least the strings let a bit of air free.) It wouldn’t be her best song even then, but evidently she’d have a great batting average.

Alfred Soto: If you want melodrama in a pop song, you can do worse than the clipppety-cloppety beat and string stabs without which Ms. Jepsen’s voice would collapse into a tinselly pile of Kylie-isms. The ambivalence of the title metaphor is a problem too. Forget that a more resourceful singer would have played with it instead of bouncing right off; it’s that the “maybe” gets the wrong stress, as if the songwriters understood on what kind of tightrope they were walking with this performer.  

Brad Shoup: Merely “co-written” by Marianas Trench’s Josh Ramsay, but I don’t buy it. The stop-start riff that was a stand-out obnoxious feature of “Haven’t Had Enough” got Vanessa Carltonized for Jepsen. As for the singer herself, I suspect there’s some pitch-shifting at play, or clever AI software. The sweet, youthful lilt? A young girl trading her soul for the chance to approach a skinny rocker? Sounds like wish-fulfillment to me. I’m onto you, Marianas Trench!

22 Responses to “Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe”

  1. I quite like this, as insubstantial as it is, but the keeper of Jepsen’s is Tug of War (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IoedEgydRo) from a few years back. Equally focused on one idea, but the repetition here ends up looping almost into mantra, although the video is a bit less folky and a bit dancier than I remember it.

    Anyway, ‘Call Me Maybe’ is a nice bit of pop fluff, easily a [7] for me, and [8] on a particularly good day.

  2. Not the first Canadian Idol we’ve covered, though I certainly understand the compulsion to forget Hedley.

  3. I had little to say about this, but it’s a rock hard I LOVE THIS!! [7].

  4. Just got a Bieber/Gomez co-sign.


  5. And made the Canadian Top 10 this week. The song is nigh inescapable here now. Which has yet to dampen my enthusiasm for it somehow.

  6. All signs point to I’ve made a huge mistake.

  7. You have, or I have?

  8. i.e. Has it grown on you, or is it a Return from whence you came! situation.

  9. I have, growing, etc. Never bet against a VH1-sounding hit, I am learning.

  10. But betting against Mr. Marianas Trench seems like a sure thing, so it’s tough.

  11. This has been blowing up on my campus. I hear people singing/playing it on a nearly hourly basis.

  12. Since four months ago when I first suggested we cover it, it’s gone from a [7] to an easy [9] and potentially a [10].

    For the life of me I still can’t figure out WHY it works as well as it does, but it’s an earworm that’s permeated my entire Law Faculty, my entire Internet, my entire apartment, my entire radio, everything. It’s inescapable.

    And I’m not sick of it yet.

  13. Poor Jer, though!

  14. I bet he’s happy to be proven premature.

  15. Looking odds-on for UK #1 this week. At [8] I definitely underrated it a little.

  16. It’s a grower, for sure. I didn’t care for this when I first heard it either, but now I’m sort of addicted to it. I think it’s the strings in the chorus. So good.

  17. Only yesterday did I put it together that THIS song I loved on the radio was also the song people were fretting about underrating at Jukebox. To me, she gives off a total “hot girl slumming” vibe — like, “I’m through being chased by all the other boys who are NOT hard to look at, so why not try something new? Like YOU?” If this song were directed at me — which it sort of is, I guess, because she at least wants me to download her — I would lie awake plagued by insecurity, obsessing over Alfred’s problematic “maybe”, playing my Kylie records because at least there’s no possibility of anything happening there, and contemplating ordering Proactiv.

  18. Definitely an underrated song, the best way to describe this songs is that they tried to throw everything but the kitchen sink together and yet it all works so well, even when it seems that it shouldn’t. The verses are interesting and a bit twee but the chorus is definitely pure gold and did I mention the strings? One of the best commercial songs of the year for me so far…

  19. For me it’s dropped from a 5 to a 2. Excruciatingly cute and boring.

  20. You did it, guys! Alexander Keiths for everyone.

  21. It has finally invaded Latinamerica.

  22. anthony amazingly otm in retrospect