Our favourite pop queen Carly is back.
Release date: 17/05/2019
Genre: Pop, disco, dance-pop
It has been awhile since Carly Rae Jepsen returned back to our stereo speakers, but before her return, the pop world seemed to be damaging itself constantly, what-with Taylor Swift's Reputation and fixing it up with ME!, and Ed Sheeran teaming up with Justin Bieber?
Well, today, we're talking about everybody's favourite pop queen, and so let's begin ranking the best and worst songs from Dedicated, Carly's new endeavour back to disco-pop with an 15-punch effect.
15. For Sure
While majority of Dedicated feels like a string of pop hits that would survive the massive climb of real estate on the Billboard Hot 100 if released as singles, For Sure just doesn't quite make the cut. Bubbly, charming, and filled with the usual Carly pop-disco troupes, the song just doesn't have enough to make that mountainous climb just yet. It's an enjoyable song, but it does sink pretty fast on the album. Considering the rest of the album, the best is yet to come for sure. Ha, I just did that.
14. Party For One
The first single to be released from Dedicated, this R&B groove infectious track serves up quite a meal. But, with that said, Party For One does feel stale after multiple listens, and as the album closer, surely there could have been a better song placed here? Well, after such a crazy rush of a journey, I just wished that the album had ended a little better. Other than that, the song does enough to justify not placing rock-bottom on our ranks.
13. Right Words Wrong Time
From here on, most of the songs are really just better than the previous one, and Right Words Wrong Time proves this. Discaring for a lot of big anthemic choruses, Carly's delivery here is almost an anti-chorus, letting the swelling of synths and bass to serve up a thumping hook that is infectious and dangerous. The bridge into the final chorus dances on a thin line that works to the tenth degree.
12. Real Love
While Dedicated feels cohesive on a whole, Real Love seems to stick out like a cherry bomb, and that's why it works. With the punch-up synth chorus that feels reminiscent of Run Away With Me, Real Love delivers the extravagant meaning of real love, dismissing the art on television and movies, as Carly writes. This is a great song to ride to, and displays once again Carly's effective songwriting capabilities.
11. Feels Right (ft. Electric Guest)
This electro-fused track with Electro Guest is deservedly sumptuous, featuring twang synths in the background, vocoder vocals, and a dance-heavy tune, Feels Right feels more like EDM done right. This song is really good, and I don't have much else to say about it. Feels Right, well, feels quite frankly, great.
10. The Sound
As close to full, literal cherry-gum pop here, The Sound begins with a few piano notes before leading into a buzz-bass chorus that really chomps through the song. A feel-good, dancey track that doesn't quite lights up as the rest of the album, but we have the rest of the album to count on that for. A simple song, a simple taste.
9. Automatically In Love
If there was a favourite song on the entire album, I would give it to Automatically In Love. Profoundly produced, the song feels stilt-heavy and shouldn't quite work as well as it did on this level, and that's the problem -- it does. Such a breezy track with melty bass and a brass bass that really takes off when the chorus, ironically, lands. It is just so easy to nod and bop to this song.
8. No Drug Like Me
One of Carly's promotional singles from Dedicated, No Drug Like Me has a great bass that lingers in the background, sparking into life in the chorus that just explodes. While majority of the album feels like it could live in the 80's of dance-pop hits, this song is probably one of the closest. It also feels like Carly has matured with her albums. Speaking of which, this most of the songs in the top 8 are the first-half of the album. Is there a correlation?
7. Happy Not Knowing
Another fantastic happy bop, Happy Not Knowing tells the tale of a girl with a crush and she's just happy not to be knowing it, the you-know, you-know of Carly's songwriting, but it just... works. Dedicated pulls up all the punches in the first-half of the album, and doesn't quite let up with Happy Not Knowing. Thanks Carly, I feel the same way.
6. Now That I Found You
Man, Carly really loves her sax, doesn't she? First Run Away With Me, then Now That I Found You. Though, Run Away With Me is the superior song by a country mile (because the song's run away), this other single from Dedicated does strike up the clouds and delivers an infectious groove that will get you dancing even if you haven't found anybody. A heavy-dose of pop, EDM and old, old disco.
5. Everything He Needs
Such a sweet, simple song with a heartfelt message. Carly's soft pop ballads, though not a 100% like a soft-pop ballad, comes into play. With a playful piano hanging overhead Carly's standalone vocals, the song is snazzy, warm and delightful. Truly one of Dedicated's rare gems that was just waiting to be uncovered.
4. I'll Be Your Girl
Speaking of soft-pop ballads, this song is nothing like that. And oh my god, does I'll Be Your Girl work on a truly sensational level. With a fast-paced, urgent production and such a groovy bass leading Carly's vocals, the song races to the finish line with an enthusiastic approach that is lived-in, and yet still contains all of the sweet Carly songwriting that we've all come to love. By the way, did I say I love the bass? Funnily enough, I'll Be Your Girl isn't the shortest song on the album.
Carly was right (and she always is), Julien is indeed the heart of the song. Heartwarming and all of that feel-good vibes included, Julien sets the tone immediately for the encompassing sound that she revels in on this album. Not only is it an amazing song with deep production, but it is one of the best on the album without a doubt. Sparkles, sparkles everywhere!
2. Want You In My Room
'I wanna' do bad things to you'. Holy, this song is the definition of infectious bubble-gum pop that just envelopes the more and more you listen to it. Not only that, but Carly's vocals shine with all kinds of shimmer that just delivers one hell of a track. Truly one of the best songs on the album for sure. That wasn't a pun.
So, what is the best song on the album, then?
1. Too Much
How do you deliver a perfect pop track that engulfs you and never quite lets you go like listening to an album on repeat? Well, Carly, this is how you do it. Too Much is a bop in every sense of the word, the kind of hit single that storms up the charts. Struggling from whether she's delivering too much in a relationship, wary of the other party leaving, this song is just quite, honestly, phenomenal. There's nothing else on this album quite like this song, and I wished there were more. But if you have more of it, then it makes this song feel less special. No matter what, Too Much is undoubtedly the best song on the album and quite rightly so.
With everything said and done, it feels like Carly really punched out the competition with the first-half of Dedicated, leaving the second-half feeling barebones, struggling to leave the same kind of impact, and just feels like an album that should have been more bound together. Still, Dedicated is another good album from Carly, but speaking from emotions, I prefer her predecessor record for sure. Alright, no more puns.
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Benny Ong: Just your regular guy who likes soccer more than most people, and also a little downtime is pretty nice.