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!