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'Emotion' review: Feeling the awe for Carly Rae Jepsen's newest

Carly Rae Jepsen's

Carly Rae Jepsen's "Emotion" album will be released Aug. 21, 2015. Photo Credit: Schoolboy Records/Interscope Records

Look, the world is not fair.

The fickle, fickle world embraced Carly Rae Jepsen and her irresistible earworm "Call Me Maybe" in 2011, ringing up 18 million sales of the single worldwide and nearly 750 million YouTube views. Then, it seemingly hung up on the Canadian pop star and blocked her number.

Never mind that her album "Kiss" featured plenty of great pop songs. Never mind that her adorable recent single "I Really Like You" should have been a smash. Radio and, more importantly, listeners were not moved.

So why should we expect anything different from Jepsen's new album, "Emotion" (Schoolboy / Interscope)? Well, maybe we shouldn't.

Nevertheless, "Emotion" may be the best pop album of the year so far -- a sleek, synth-pop-loving sister to Taylor Swift's "1989" that matches Tay note for shiny, glittery note.

Yes, America was somehow immune to the infectious charms of "I Really Like You" -- and the even-more charming video featuring Tom Hanks lip-synching the song. But that was simply Jepsen's most immediate attempt at grabbing some attention. There are far better songs on "Emotion" that should land her the reception she deserves.

Take "All That," the shockingly good ballad that's cooingly Janet Jackson (circa "Let's Wait Awhile") on the verses, before adopting a Prince-ly falsetto and funky, shimmering synths on the chorus.

With her collaborations with Sia -- the sly funk-pop of "Boy Problems," with its addictively elastic bass line, and "Making the Most of the Night," which streamlines the complexities of late '80s freestyle -- Jepsen shows her range both lyrically and stylistically.

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You can almost hear the chip Jepsen carries on her shoulder in the desperation of "Your Type" and ambitious experimentation of "Warm Blood," where she comes across as the next Robyn with the help of Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij. No maybe here, "Emotion" proves Jepsen is the real deal.




BOTTOM LINE Really, really, really, really, really, really great dance pop.


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