It's always fun to have a new artist do something both familiar and fresh. It's a breath of air you didn't know you needed, when something like “Call Me Maybe” graces your ear drums. The track is both quirky and simplistic, production emulating a UK-style pop track although the starlet hails from the upstairs loft that is Canada. Carly's new EP, Curiosity, is 6 electronic pop songs strong, almost too short to be satisfying but immensely repeatable. And while Carly has the look of Demi Lovato and Jessie J combined, her style is summery and bright without the emotional bogging down of Lovato or the flat out drudgery of Jessie J.
It all boils down to this, “Call Me Maybe” is the “Teenage Dream” of 2012. The video has over 7 million views already, and the track is needlessly catchy. It has so much hook it's pulling in people based on snippets, previews, and cursory listens. What makes Curiosity worth your time is that the other five songs presented on the EP are just as much fun. Take “Just A Step Away,” plinking melody and organic bass augmented by a stuttered beat and cruise ship production vibe, and it's clear that Carly has a little something extra. And when she tackles Joni Mitchell's “Both Sides Now” with a driving, almost casual beat and her Vanessa Carlton-esque vocals, the effect is engaging and new, hopeful, and romantic. And while “Talk To Me” may be the dark horse of the EP, an odd beat effect detracting from the overall impression of the track, it still rates fairly high on the sugarpop scale. Similarly for the EP's title track, heavy of beats and catchy hooks, it's the obvious follow up to “Call Me Maybe” although stresses the beats a little more than I'd personally like.
But it's the track “Picture” that really boasts what Carly is truly capable of. “Picture” benefits from a world of prior music to draw on, being the climax moment in most romantic movies, dramatic, comedic, or other. The serendipitous vibe reminds us of strong female artists of the 90s whose music was regaled as the crux of pop radio during their time. That this young singer can so accurately emulate what these singers have accomplished, not only in musical execution but in the vulnerability of her voice, is something to note. “Picture” may not be a dance track but I can't imagine people wouldn't sway if this came on, and with any luck, the track will garner remixes.
Speaking of remixes, while “Call Me Maybe” is a little slow on the remix front so far, it's interesting to note that the track has already been entered into dubstep territory thanks to a couple brave mixers. “Call Me Maybe” begs for an upbeat and glittery dance floor remix, something that doesn't overwhelm Carly's voice with growling production but instead aims to bounce the singer along. Liam Keegan would be a nice choice, but it would also be pretty hot to see what someone like Chuckie could do with this track.
Carly Rae Jepsen will be a future force to deal with if the runaway and somehow silent success of “Call Me Maybe” is any indication. Each track on this EP is worth attention, although “Picture” steals the show along with the Joni Mitchell cover, “Both Sides Now.”. This singer's maturity is obvious in aspects, and her coyness and naivete apparent in others. It's a wonderful combination and bodes well for her future. Unless she Lindsay Lohans and explodes.