Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Kiss’: The Triumph Of Brainless Synth-Pop

Sweet merciful Jesus, how I’ve waited for this day.

Having just listened to Carly Rae Jepsen’s debut album the whole way through for the first time, I am ecstatic to report that it encompasses the exact type of overly saccharine, paint-by-numbers, hook-within-hook, usually Swedish, synthesizer-based pop music I have been ridiculed for listening to for nigh a decade. Really, I can’t exaggerate how good it feels to come out of—do they have closets in Sweden?

This won’t be like when I declared my affection for Nicki Minaj’s ravey throwbacks on Roman Reloaded only to find out I’d been stranded in the dancefloor wilderness. Because there’s no way Jepsen’s Kiss doesn’t spawn a few hits beside “Call Me Maybe,” which is pretty transcendently formulaic in its own right. Surely “Drive” will get some radio play just because people liked the movie. Even “Good Time” is brilliantly hateable—a lyrical retread of a Black Eyed Peas single, featuring the Owl City guy? Fuck me, that’s genius: I’ll be humming it up until I pull the trigger.

You have to appreciate how much studio engineering went into something quite so undercooked as a song called “Your Heart Is A Muscle.” That’s straight-up cribbing from a sixth-grader’s diary. (If you’re a sixth-grader who had that concept stolen from your diary by Carly Rae Jepsen, email me at milesklee@gmail.com and we will blow the roof of this thing, I promise.) But again, bravo. We were all so busily outraged about the dumbing-down of the Top 40 that we never stopped to consider it might eat an IQ test instead of flunking it. Thanks, Carly, for lowering rock bottom once more.

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