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Buy It Maybe
on September 18, 2012
With its unembarrassed set of slick pop confections, Carly Rae Jepsen's "Kiss" - her major label debut and second full-length - hearkens back to those Mandy Moore-Jessica Simpson days of the early 2000s.
Heavily padded with classy, agreeable filler - light on memorable hooks, heavy on high fructose corn syrup - "Kiss" is certainly frontloaded with its strongest tracks, none of which come close to the relentless appeal of summer 2012 chart blaster "Call Me Maybe." Still, listeners craving guilty pleasure pop have some lollipops to suck on until the next Britney or Kylie record.
Her breathy, professional performances almost make anonymous hi-BPM dance tunes such as "Turn Me Up" and "Hurt So Good" sound memorable. In fact, her cooing, confident vocals are consistently her biggest asset, turning even the album's weakest moments into boldly executed excurions which, in spite of themselves, are far from faceless.
"This Kiss" sounds like a hit from one of Britney's first records, complete with sugary, swirling, vanilla-coated beats - Jepsen makes it clear from the outset that this is music made for fun's sake, with no deep feelings in sight. The comparatively thoughtful "More Than a Memory," for instance, still surfs on dance floor-ready waves.
These tunes are designed purely to make listeners forget their troubles. "Tonight I'm Getting Over You," a pulsing slice of Eurodance, is the most exemplary:
"No more crying to get me through," she sings over the track. "I'll keep dancing 'til the morning with somebody new."
"Kiss" is a typical pop album with one very strong single, several other juicy tunes and many album tracks that are both listenable and rather unmemorable. It leaves improvement for Jepsen's future releases and illuminates the niche she intends to fill. Why no voting buttons? We don't let customers vote on their own reviews, so the voting buttons appear only when you look at reviews submitted by others. Permalink