carly-rae-jepsen-the-loneliest-time-album-review-2022

Carly Rae Jepsen - “The Loneliest Time” Album Review

Story posted November 9, 2022 in Arts & Entertainment by Eliza Casey.

Canadian musician Carly Rae Jepsen - best known for her hit single “Call Me Maybe” - creates music that sticks with the listener.

Catchy, flirty and sickeningly poppy, her rainbow colored earworms paint a picture of the uncertainty and pervasive optimism of young romance.

In her newest album “The Loneliest Time,” the listener finds little deviation from the overly romantic themes and pop formula found on Jepsen's previous albums.

Jepsen is aware of what her listeners want and how to make her voice work within dance pop, however, this album proves that in order to push her status from pop fledgling to a resident pop diva, she needs to branch out into slower ballads and more meaningful musicality.

Currently, her career parallels that of Australian pop icon Kylie Minogue.

They both had stints on television which preceded their music careers; they both dominated the airwaves with a hit song and they both faded quickly into the backdrop  while continuing to make mediocre pop albums.

However, Minogue’s recent foray with disco music made for one of the most underrated albums of 2020.

With Jepsen’s title track ”The Loneliest Time (feat. Rufus Wainwright)” utilizing disco themes, listeners anticipation built, looking for a disco glam pop album that would reference music such as that found in Minogues “DISCO.”

Yet, very few tracks on “The Loneliest Time” delivered what the title track teased listeners. The songs blend into an indistinguishable mush of synth, 80’s era percussives, clear but overly edited vocals, and high pitched “oh’s” and “ah’s.”

The songs “Sideways, “Bends,” and “Bad Thing Twice” were the only songs that presented a complete musical idea that was catchy and enjoyable.

Musicality aside, thematically all the songs are solid. Many of the songs are catchy and relatable, yet feel personal to Jepsen’s story. She recounts tales of crazy relationships, indescribable feelings of love and projections she hopes to change.

The lyrics can be hit or miss, but this is due to Jepsen’s penchant for filling promising lyrical space with lackluster vocalizations and ramblings of California and zodiac signs.

This album would be a near complete miss if not for the promise in the song “Go Find Yourself or Whatever” which dared to be different.

This song is angelic, moving and soulful. Opting for a quiet, warm guitar reverent of the 70s instead of an abrasive dance beat, Jepsen adopts a folky twang to belt her most powerful song to date.

The listener can feel her vulnerability, her airy voice leading the listener into a moment of regretful acceptence with her. This song alone makes this album worth a listen and is a promising look into Jepsen’s future work.

Jepsen’s voice is punchy and clear and when given the chance to shine with less autotune, it can create magic. Jepsen can succeed beyond her tried formula and may even thrive with a bit of change.

In the future, she should still pursue pop, but she needs to alter her vocal mixing for a more effective composition. If she can bring the emotion and style of “Go Find Yourself or Whatever” to her other catchy songs, she could be a big star.

Jepsen’s greatest challenge is breaking from her box, and this album hints that it is up to her whether she further explores and experiments to find her talent or resides herself to become just another pop artist.

Rating: 5/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Tracks: “Go Find Yourself or Whatever,” “The Loneliest Time (feat. Rufus Wainwright)”

Reviewer’s Least Favorite Tracks: “Joshua Tree”


Eliza Casey is a second-year majoring in telecommunications. To contact her, email egc5236@psu.edu.