After four years of the release of E•MO•TION, along with the side B version of the album, Carly Rae Jepsen takes a deeper dive into decades with Dedicated. Carly Rae Jepsen vividly transitions from a gritty, nostalgic 80s rhythm to light bubbly disco movement.
— Carly Rae Jepsen (@carlyraejepsen) May 17, 2019
Dedicated is the rare pop album of the year that demonstrates love, heartbreak, and happiness with a groovy sensation.
“Julien” – 7/10
The opening song inspired CRJ to make the album. The sympathetic song follows a nostalgic summer with Julien, a past boyfriend of CRJ. The reversible beat takes back the moments of their days together. CRJ longs over this time as she cannot forget the memories, and it was more than a fantasy. The beat drops with CRJ mumbling “Julien.” A notable lyric is “all your colors are still dancing in my mind” to indicate his vibrant feeling left an everlasting mark.
“No Drugs Like Me” – 9/10
CRJ’s mellow voice eases the precautions of the complicated relationship before the drum and beat drops. The chorus and the beats competitively try to top each other until it takes a breath. CRJ sings the symptoms of basic drugs to compare them to her lover’s thoughts and feelings about her. After all, CRJ’s lover has a soft spot for her as an addict has for drugs. She’s addicted to a fantasy that cannot be felt like no other drug.
“Now That I’ve Found You” – 6.5/10
CRJ delivers a bubbly pop school crush with “Now That I’ve Found You.” The song sparked up Netflix’s Queer Eye season three and Target’s commercial. It’s catchy to start up a summer party. The last lyric in the bridge, “Now that I’ve found you” electrifies CRJ’s vocals to emphasize the feeling of love at first sight. The beats clap each other throughout the song. CRJ in autotune vividly marks an appearance in the song that it is very unnecessary.
“Want You In My Room” – 7/10
The drums and conga captivate the listeners into a groove. The instruments give a feeling of “Let’s Get Lost” from CRJ’s album, E•MO•TION. The song sets an older, sexual feeling to the lover. Frankly, their sexual tensions will perform anywhere in the room. The tune sets the song into a Jamaican paradise. The electric guitar and the tune leave song fading away. The lyric “I’ll press you to the pages of my heart” evokes an utterly feeling of butterflies in the stomach. The summer breeze sweeps the song until the end.
“Everything He Needs” – 8.5/10
CRJ delivers another bop with a light-hearted piano melody. “Everything He Needs” could contradict with “No Drug Like Me” since CRJ’s lover really really needs her in every way. In fact, in the interlude, CRJ expresses it breathily. The song has a repetitive chorus struck pop music like no other that’s cheerful and bubbly. The color pink comes in thought when listening to the song since the color and song signify love, affection, and comfort feelings. The melody highly impacts the thought and feeling, especially the piano impacting the track.
“Happy Not Knowing” – 7.5/10
The sixth track of the album expresses synth-pop music and the feeling of not knowing how your lover feels. The easy sing-a-long track gives funky disco-pop vibrations. CRJ is happy not knowing her crush’s feeling, so she won’t risk a heartbreak. Ironically, she’s hurting enough by her crush for “crushing” her feelings even though her lover has not made his feelings clear. CRJ has to put her feelings aside whereas many people do for their secret lover. The track is relatable.
“I’ll Be Your Girl” – 8.5/10
CRJ starts with a gritty indie-pop rhythm describing her jealousy of her lover. The chorus transforms into a lighter influence of pop as CRJ intrigues her lover to bed. After all, she loved the thrill of jealousy. The track is quite fast with the hint of indie-rock which is why the song is so different yet so vibrate from the album. CRJ’s raspy voice aligns with the excitement of the drums and guitar that makes the entire song distant from the album and discography. It’s an underground retro anthem.
“Too Much” – 6.5/10
The fifth single off of Dedicated is CRJ’s favorite song off of her entire discography. Yet to me, it’s overly repetitive. CRJ compares her preferences (e.g dancing and partying) to her love for her lover, but she overdoes it too much. The lyric “cause you fold into me like a heart with a beat” uses a simile to explain the feeling her lover makes her feel. The feeling is much needed as one needs a heartbeat beating in order to live. It’s quite dramatic, so CRJ questions if it’s too much. Overall, the track is lightweight while danceable.
“The Sound” – 7/10
This soft ballad turns into a delicate pop sound. CRJ realizes that her relationship is fading away, and she needs electrifying energy to spark love again. Words are not stronger than actions. The soft tempos appease the listener. Although, the chorus change the audio to a jumpy, airy sound. It’s not so appealing, but it’s danceable.
“Automatically In Love” – 9/10
CRJ expresses her songwriting skills in “Automatically In Love.” Surprisingly, CRJ finds love in another person just as her relationship is falling apart. They cannot process what happened between them, yet CRJ is sure they are automatically in love. CRJ feels it’s too good to be real, so she takes her love into her dreams. CRJ exemplifies it with the “la-da-da-das” throughout the song. The love at first sight came out of the blue in the track with Mariah Carey-inspired rhythms.
“Feels Right” – 7/10
The beats at the beginning reminded me of Vanessa Hudges hitting the glass cups in “Work This Out” from High School Musical 2. However, CRJ slips into an eased state of mind as she forgets a dreadful incident with her new lover. The band Electric Guest joins CRJ in the chorus singing about new love. It’s a complicated relationship, but CRJ is sure she’ll do anything for the lover. It’s quite groovy. The digital piano and banging on glass dominate the song while Electric Guest flows his vocals through the chorus.
“Right Words Wrong Time” – 7.5/10
In this song, CRJ’s relationship takes a tumble leading to an end. Compared to the last track, CRJ would do anything to her new lover, even going through the ugliness of LA traffic! The destination arrived to a detour: “took a million miles to feel the final separation.” CRJ’s lover seems to play her with lovey-dovey words at the wrong time. The beats sync with the rush of optimism, hesitation and the rush to the lover itself.
“Real Love” – 9/10
The thirteenth track off of the album electrifies real love in the darkest of the world. CRJ glorifies real love with her lover. When the beats come down, CRJ gets serious about love yet sparks how real life is supposed to feel. The beats release the freedom in the night. Especially, how the feeling is not scary just crazy. “Real Love” is an anthemic record with memorable lyrics. From the chorus to the line “I’ve got the feeling that the writing’s on the wall and I’m so used to the lie, and you’re so down to deny”, it’s clear love is melodramatic.
“For Sure” – 7/10
Confusion comes into the mix with real love along with confirmation of a relationship. Once again, CRJ uses repetitive lyricism: “I’ve been thinking we were over, I’ve been thinking got to know for sure.” The beats with a “da-da-da-da” are similar to “Real Love.” Although, “For Sure” is almost like a softer take on the track. The most desirable moment of the song is the beats clapping together with the light autotune of “da-da-da.”
“Party for One” – 8/10
In the end, CRJ chooses herself for real love. After a rollercoaster of emotions between lovers, self-love remains superior. Despite being nostalgic over her lover, CRJ regains herself. In fact, CRJ regains herself in pop culture as it was the first single off of “Dedicated.” A notable verse is “If you don’t care about me, I’ll just dance for myself. Back on my beat” which CRJ is over the heartbreak for good of herself. It’s time to move on. CRJ’s vocals express the freedom she’s feeling with herself.
“Dedicated” is a soft, vibrant pop album influenced by the 70s and 80s. The album takes a story of a relationship filled with the reality of the ups and downs. Despite downsides like “Too Much” and “Now That I’ve Found You,” it includes anthems like “I’ll Be Your Girl” to “Real Love.” Frankly, the down part was the unnecessary autotune mixed into the beats as the sound is very distinctive and takes away the listener from the actual song. Overall, it’s still a solid album.
Carly Rae Jepsen is hitting the road this summer for “The Dedicated Tour!” Tickets are now available, along with a meet and greet package!
— Carly Rae Jepsen (@carlyraejepsen) April 1, 2019
Featured Image by @Carlylatest on Twitter.