In 2012, Carly Rae Jepsen
broke the music industry with the release of her smash hit single "Call Me Maybe." The pure crack-cocaine, bubble gum pop anthem was on repeat in every bar, club, grocery store and iPod in the country, rocketing Jepsen to superstardom and infecting people of all ages with its catastrophically catchy melody. Needless to say, that success placed immeasurable levels of pressure on the tiny Canadian songstress to deliver an equally heavy-hitting track, or at least something close. After three years of waiting, we've finally been blessed with a follow up, and the results are not what everyone is making them out to be. Entitled "I Really Like You," the track is good, but it's clearly inferior to "Call Me Maybe" for a multitude of reasons.
It relies too heavily on the 80's, new wave trend that's been so dominant in pop recently. Taylor Swift
is the current champion of this movement with the behemoth 1989
, and everyone from Ariana Grande to Sam Smith is on the bandwagon. In fact, the synth pad used in Jepsen's latest single sounds almost identical to that of Swift's "Clean." There's nothing inherently wrong with this similarity, but "Call Me Maybe" didn't sound like anything else at the time. The staccato strings and the sub-woofer smashing bass thump mixed with the overwhelmingly saccharine chorus created a song that was obvious, but surprisingly unique.
When you consider the most important aspect of any pop song, the chorus, you see that this latest offering falls short of its older sibling once again. Notice the wonderful arc of, "Hey, I just met you/This is crazy/But here's my number/So call me maybe." The listener is beckoned with "Hey," and then brought through a logical series of events in a sickeningly cute fashion, culminating in a return to the song's title. This is pop music science; it's an age-old formula that, after some variables were switched around, translated into something familiar but but fresh. "I Really Like You" falls really
flat in this department. Repeating a word six times in a song is overkill and completely unnecessary, unless the writer is unabashedly seeking to kill time for lack of any better ideas.
Finally, the bridge in "I Really Like You" is anti-climactic and short-lived in comparison to that of "Call Me Maybe." The latter stops you dead in your tracks, suspending you until the chorus explodes back into your face. Because it's fun. It's idiocy and simplicity are just good old fashioned butterflies fun. The former trips into its bridge and fails to deliver a proper build up.
Jepsen's new single is unsatifying. It will undoubtedly find its way into every college party and dominate the airwaves, but you're not going to see groups of men releasing ridiculous YouTube covers like you did in 2012. The giggling little girl novelty factor is starting to rust. This is simply a case where the hype is really really really really really really
Listen to the single below and decide for yourself if "I Really Like You" is an acceptable heir to the throne.
Now check out this clip of Tom Hanks and Justin Bieber breaking it down for the upcoming music video.