The Rock Geek Goes Pop: The Classic Pop Sensibilities of Carly Rae Jepsen
  • TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2015

  • Posted by: Don Saas

Carly Rae Jepsen's third album, Emotion, begins with a titanic blast of synth that might as well be a war call. This isn't your typical pop record. In a decade where so many pop stars have had every last ounce of authenticity and emotional sincerity sucked out of them by the corporate pop machine, Carly Rae Jepsen has become a beacon of a defiantly old-school pop sensibility. Not old school in the sense that the record sounds like it was ripped from the past -- though it has its share of sonic touchstones that call to mind the best of 1980s pop -- but in the sense that craft and delivering a sound that makes you feel something in the core of your being comes ahead of flashy production and hooks -- not that the album is lacking in that department either.

I'm the Rock Geek. I can be kind of a music snob. It's not my most endearing trait, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't there. But the best pop song will always bounce around my brain more than the greatest rock song or "art" song ever will. "God Only Knows" is the best piece of music of the 20th century. And do you know why? Brian Wilson combined orchestral lushness with the most honest depiction of love in popular music as well as the most basic fundamentals of "how do you write a pop song." And while Emotion isn't Pet Sounds, I've also listened to it more than any other record that came out this year, and it's not even close. Not the new Tame Impala, not Kendrick Lamar, not My Morning Jacket. Carly Rae Jepsen. Her record is that good.

And of course that meant we were beyond excited to have Carly Rae Jepsen as the latest guest of The Rock Geek. "Call Me Maybe" is the highest grossing digital single of all time. Emotion was released to rave reviews. A conversation has been sparked about how you pay homage to the sounds that inspire you without just replicating classic music. And we talked about all of this and more with Carly Rae Jepsen. Tom Hanks even comes up. I'm going to stop rambling now about how much Carly Rae Jepsen has revitalized radio pop in 2015 and just let you get straight to the interview. You won't want to miss this.

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