I wore out a 2 tapes when I was a little kid, one was Queen’s Greatest Hits, and the other was Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I remember watching Freddy and Michael on tv when I was a kid, they seemed like gods to me. So thanks mostly to MJ, and my ridiculous thirst for music, I like and appreciate well done pop songs. I might not listen to the same song every single day for a week, like I did a little while ago for Abba’s Lay Your Love on Me. I might not blasting stuff from the Spice Girls’ Spice cd all the time, but I will totally play that fucker when I’m drunk. And I might not be buying Lady Gaga’s cds, but I will totally watch her perform on tv. So after getting through Brand New’s Science Fiction I was kinda looking forward to listening to Emotion by Carle Rae Jepson.
I totally forgot that CRJ was the voice behind Call Me Maybe. Which is a monster of a pop song! It was everywhere! One time I saw a chorus of dogs singing it, kinda like a traditional dog rendition of Jingle Bells. It was crazy. Emotion doesn’t really sound like that at all! I try not to read too much about the albums for this uh project. Usually I just look at the wikipedia for technical specs, when it was released, producers, stuff like that. Anyway on there it says that Emotion was a response against the monster of Call Me Maybe, which explains why it sounds quite different from Kiss
Emotion is similar to old school 80s pop. Listen to that opening sax/synth riff from Run Away With Me! The whole is a tribute to 80s music that we’ve heard over and over again on the radio. I bet if When I Needed You came out in 1987 it would still be on the radio. All That is totally from some 80s teen rom com. Even on the more angular tracks, Emotion wears its 80s influence proudly, just listen to that “AAAAaaaAAAAaaaahhh” vocals on Black Heart.
All while I was listening to Emotion I knew there was something else besides the standard 80s pop sound. Jpop? Techno? House? (Just listen to those pianos in I didn’t Just Come Here to Dance) When it totally hit me, there is so much old school freestyle in it! Aha! The hidden piece! That familiarity of the kind of music I use to hear blasting out of windows when I was a lad.
There isn’t a rampaging type song like Call Me Maybe, and in fact there’s a few tracks that I straight up don’t like. Warm Blood is a total filler track. That chopped and screwed part is incongruous with the rest of the album. It should’ve been like an extra track. As well as Favourite Colour, which is a weak closer, but that might just be on the version of the album I listened to. But there are tracks like Making Most of the Night, which would make a great score to commit crimes to! And the ridiculous ear worminess of I Really Like You is a wonder to behold.
Because it’s so 80s you’d think it just be watered down versions of old songs, but Emotion seems pretty fresh. There’s a lot of components to the songs that are very modern. Many of the tracks are more angular than average pop songs, but are still very catchy. I can see many of these being remixed into awesome dance songs. I kind of wish that CRJ didn’t sing in english because sometimes the lyrics aren’t greatest, like in LA Hallucinations. But that doesn’t really matter in the end, because this is one of albums where you gotta take in the whole delightful picture.
Making the Most of the Night
Goes good with: A coconut milk mocha frapuccino. YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE.