I just don’t get how she’s not bigger. Obviously no one is expecting Taylor, Beyoncé or (insert your fave big pop girl) numbers from her. But a chart run of 19 - out for an artist with her level of quality output, (which isn’t even super niche or experimental), fairly positive reviews, dedicated fan base, consistent touring etc. It just doesn’t make sense to me.
I'm actually not that surprised she's not bigger. It's the Tinashe issue IMO in that pop enthusiasts have quite a different perspective than general listeners. On this forum, people listen to music in a very zoomed in meticulous sort of way where they can get a good sense of these artists' style and nuances. We don't need a "hook" to draw us in. To the average listener, who doesn't listen to music in this sort of way, Carly's music just sounds like bubblegum pop, which is not really in vogue and hasn't been for quite a long time.
Also, I think Call Me Maybe didn't do her any favors longevity wise. It was so huge, so topical, and so fucking catchy, the definition of a "hook." How do you evolve from that in a commercial sense? Even if the EMOTION singles were better quality-wise, they seem like very regular songs in comparison. What is the incentive for the listening audience to invest in them when they lack the viral energy and are not as catchy? Call Me Maybe basically boxed her in.
Finally, her music is very indebted to retro aesthetics in a musical sense, particularly those of 80s bubblegum pop. While that is catnip to pop enthusiasts, it makes it hard for her to expand her overall appeal. The retro thing only really seems to gain commercial traction when there's another factor to sell it.