Give us the album!: Carly, Queen of Tease
It's been nearly 4 years, and the Queen of Tease has given us a b-side ep, three individual songs, and an epicly cute music video, but we still wait for the announcement of a new album. However, Carly has graced us with a clue that the announcement of a release date is upon us, and it it seems appropriate that on the eve of this most anticipated moment that I would finally write a few words about the best album of the decade, E*MO*TION, and one of my new all-time favorite music videos.
I don't know what I want from this new Carly Rae Jepsen album, but I need her to figure it out. At the end of the year every year since 2015, Run Away With Me, the first track of E*MO*TION, has been my most listened to song of the year. I was in the car with my husband, recently, and said to him as we were listening to that album, “I'm ready for a new album to mean this much to me.” I thought that album was going to be Lorde’s Melodrama, and although it do enjoy that album, it wasn't.
So far, the songs Carly has released, which I presume are for this coming album, have been a little bit more of the same. I like them, but I like them because they sound like what she's released in the past. I feel ready for a new sound from her, and I want to be surprised. I have no idea what the sound I want is I just know that I'm ready.The last two songs she released, Now That I Found You and Drug Like Me, have her usual sound, but these most recent two, especially Drug Like Me, feels a little bit more provocative. Carly's sung about getting drunk before but never about doing drugs. And the video for Now That I Found You, although entirely wholesome in it's lyrics, was also a little unexpected in its content. Carly has always been a tiny person and able to wear teeny weenie shorts and such, but her outfits in the Now That I Found You video are more suggestive than anything I've seen her wear in the past, and there's a bit of a drug reference in the music video as well, although I'm not bagging that.
When Carly first dropped this video I was at school and my students were participating in an outdoor event, so I was able to sit back away from the group and put in my earbuds and watch the video on my phone. Luckily, the wind kept blowing my hair in my face and hid the tears of unacceptable cuteness levels that started leaking into my eyes as soon as the song started. Yes, the video for Now That I Found You is so unbelievably cute and incredibly clever, I'll even forgive the overt product placement because it's just so much fun.
The real star of the video, and I think Carly would agree, is Shrampton the Cat. Carly is a self-professed crazy cat lady without a cat, so this music video is a love story, indeed. I don't want to go too far into it because I want you to actually watch this video. I love music videos. I actually teach with music videos and I think this one is worth your time.
Carly finds a stray cat and takes it home with her to a gorgeous highly stylized apartment where she dances around with the cat who inexplicably multiplies and we see him lying all around her house in different poses. It's really fun and cute and then Carly packs a hookah with catnip and smokes a giant cloud. The background recedes and suddenly she's floating in space in a spandex outfit covered in cats and galaxy print. She then wakes up to find the cat is missing and has to run out and go find him again. Watching Carly lip sync her love song to this cat instead of a human actor makes me scream with joy. As soon as I realized that's what was happening, I started crying.
Not only is the video cute, it's also smart. Carly obviously knows her fan base and I think keeping it sweet and cute will make her fans more willing to accept songs that are a little less wholesome. I think most of her fans would agree, what really excites me about Carly is that her career really took off when she was an adult. Unlike teen artists who grow up in the business than then have to convince everyone that their an adult by taking all their clothes off, Carly doesn’t have anything to prove. Carly is a 33-year-old woman and she's making music, believe it or not, for 30ish year old people. It may surprise you to hear that her fan base isn't in their late teens and early 20s, but it's true. When I saw Carly in concert, the majority of the people there looked like hipsters in their 30s.
It's hard to imagine what an artist's music is going to sound like. Carly enjoys giving us some hints but, usually, the songs she releases as singles don’t really reflect the depth or energy of the songs on the rest of the album. Don’t you worry your pretty little head about it, though. As soon as I hear it, I’ll update you...