Four years on from her dance-pop record, Emotion, the Call Me Maybe star Carly Rae Jepsen is back with her fourth full length effort, Dedicated, where she continues to deliver the pop bangers, this time with a hint of disco infused into her catchy pop songs.
This disco and funk flavour is prominent from the off, with the strutty opener Julien revolving around wahh-ing keyboard chords (which also feature in Automatically In Love) and a Jamiroquai-esque groove to really emphasise her gradual genre-shifting over the past few years. Want You In My Room and Everything He Needs also follow this trajectory, with the repetitive choruses evoking colourful bursts of sunshine that highlight her knack for a melody.
Tracks like No Drug Like Me and Happy Not Knowing, meanwhile, feel stylistically more in line with J-pop, with a squeaky-clean electro pop polish, and synth chord washes lending themselves to some of the catchiest moments on the record. The optimistic EDM-pop explosion of single Now That I Found You will feel most natural to those who have followed Jepsen’s big hits over the years, as its infectious chorus hook, “Don’t give it up/Don’t say it hurts/Cause there’s nothing like this feeling/Now that I found you”, is bound to hit heavy rotation.
There are plenty of high points – the inventive calypso feel of I’ll Be Your Girl, and the decent mood-shifting closer Real Love, but other tracks like Right Words Wrong Time or Too Much come across as too simplistic.
This album shows that Carly is dedicated to carving out some great pop tunes, even if it means there are a few duds along the way.