Bright, shiny pop hits

Pop smash hit Call Me Maybe may be Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen's calling card, but she has remained on the pop radar with critically acclaimed albums like 2015's Emotion.

Her latest release, the 15-track Dedicated, feels like a second helping of the widely embraced Emotion - and it is not a bad thing.

The references to disco pop and the golden age of 1980s synth pop are apparent in this album that channels pure pop bliss.

Album opener Julien sets the tone with its fun, glitchy groove and shimmering bridge, as she sings about a guy she cannot get over.

"I tried another to keep me satisfied," she confesses. "But all your colours are still dancing in my mind."

Many of the songs seem perfect for a girls' trip montage in a chick flick - whether it is The Police-style reggae-bassline on I'll Be Your Girl or the unapologetic dance-pop rager that is Now That I Found You.

But taking deep cuts and making them pop gold is part of the Jepsen magic and she does it on Everything He Needs - a surprisingly effective re-imagining of the song, He Needs Me, sung by Olive in the 1980 musical comedy, Popeye, starring Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall.

Jepsen's uptempo version makes use of a cheery piano riff that sparkles over a groovy electro-funk bassline.

  • POP

  • DEDICATED

    Carly Rae Jepsen

    Interscope

    Rating: 4 Stars

The first half of the album is far more satisfyingly bright and shiny than the second half, that descends into formulaic modern pop, with songs such as the forgettable Real Love and Right Words Wrong Time.

That said, Jepsen is no one-hit wonder. She is clearly skilled at delivering pop hits filled with joyful abandon and ones that make you want to relive your days of heady teenage revelry.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 30, 2019, with the headline 'Bright, shiny pop hits'. Print Edition | Subscribe