Carly Rae Jepsen - The Loveliest Time / The Loneliest Time

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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.
 
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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.
At least she's still doing better than Tove Lo, someone I'd say is her peer position-wise. The difference being that Tove actually has some big songs that sound like they're aimed for the charts, but Carly is the one with better household name recognition. Both have songs that sound massive to us, but not to the public.
 
Simply put, quality doesn't always typically translate into massive commercial success and it's okay to be disappointed by that. It's giving... my endless disappointment in my Gen Z cousins siding with their "legendary icon" Kylie Jenner, instead of "that la-la lady from before we were born" Kylie Minogue over a trademark dispute. And since you asked... No, I don't have a trademark, BUT I do reserve the right to be perplexed and distraught over the gee pee's perpetual lack of taste.
 
Most of the songs are this album vary from pretty good to very good but Western Wind remains the best. It's very catchy but also has a good amount of sonic depth and it was genuinely different for her. I didn't listen to Dedicated because none of the preliminary songs did anything for me but with Western Wind, it was love at first listen and I dived into the album as a result.

Surrender My Heart is easily one of the best songs on the album but it's one song that noticeably suffers from the short run time. It really needs a middle eight and a final explosive chorus. The song is light-sounding and enjoyable enough that it could easily run five minutes and not feel tedious.

The run times (and Beach House) is probably the album's biggest problem. Which is a better problem to have than something more fundamental being broken but it still does detract.
 
At least she's still doing better than Tove Lo, someone I'd say is her peer position-wise.
This claim is quite the kii to me. Tove has 3 singles from this year alone on 30-45m spoti streams, Carly might snatch one in that zone if she's lucky? They both have loyal fanbases and can tour, but I'd say Tove's profile is much higher and the numbers speak to that.

Anyway, I'm currently loving Go Find Yourself or Whatever. It's what I hoped for from this album when we first heard Western Wind. So gorgeous. I kind of feel a lot of the synthpop stuff she's done better before*, but these rootsier, more mellow and more organic sounding tracks are a great fit for her voice and songwriting style.

(*Surrender My Heart goes off though, and Bends/Anxious are highlights too)
 
This claim is quite the kii to me. Tove has 3 singles from this year alone on 30-45m spoti streams, Carly might snatch one in that zone if she's lucky? They both have loyal fanbases and can tour, but I'd say Tove's profile is much higher and the numbers speak to that.
Oh I was referring to their profile/album sales in the States. Carly’s peaked at #19 and Dirt Femme at #153. I’m sure Tove is doing much better in Europe.
 
Beach House bumps we've moved on from hating it1!!
Beach House is one of my favourites, I still have my issues (but mainly in terms of the length) but the chorus is just incredibly catchy and digs in at you…. Regardless, it’s all so good - Surrender My Heart, Talking To Yourself, Shooting Star, Bends, Western Wind - I hate that she will be forever known as “Call Me Maybe Girl” but she’s so much more than that.
 
I'm fine with her position if she's fine with it and she seems to be. Regular album releases with companion albums at that, able to tour consistently and have creative control over her projects. It sounds like a great career?
And… a great reputation with the media + tastemakers, where there’s a sense that she deserves to be bigger. Not a terrible position to be in at all.
 
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