The Problem With... Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe"

Every wave of music coming out of Canada is quite the "melange." In the most recent one, Drake's fame is pulling up Toronto R&B artists The Weeknd and Melanie Fiona. We also have elves like Grimes and Purity Ring tinkering around with their precursors, from Skinny Puppy to Nelly Furtado.

Conversely, you get convenient, profitable pop such as Justin Bieber and his Schoolboy Records labelmate, Carly Rae Jepsen. I guess someone's gotta bankroll those other neat projects. Jepsen appeared on the Canadian charts a few years ago, after placing third on a season of Canadian Idol. I've never seen Canadian Idol, but I imagine it's a bit like American Idol, except contestants sing Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" and everyone that places in the finals gets a record deal for fairness' sake.

Her latest single, "Call Me Maybe," was bolstered by lip-synch videos from Katy Perry and Bieber/Selena Gomez. The track has a standard pop beat and orchestral strings that sound like they came from the music generator in the Super Nintendo game Mario Paint.

The lyrics reveal that Jepsen is noncommittal about chasing her crush. In the first verse, her price for a kiss ranges widely between "pennies and diamonds." The chorus follows, throwing a number to her object and throwing an ambivalent "maybe" with a question mark and shrug.

The breakdown line "Before you came into my life/I missed you so bad" messed with my head. Unless she hatched a plan similar to Primer, the 2004 time travel film shot in Dallas, that's impossible.

While Jepsen's voice sounds a bit cute and frisky, the adolescent image broke down when I found out she's closer to my age than the track's target audience. Shouldn't she be hanging around with the aforementioned artists making aloof cyberpunk tunes? If "Call Me Maybe" is any indication, Jepsen's certainly impulsive enough to give it a shot.

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Shahryar Rizvi
Contact: Shahryar Rizvi