Queen of shimmering bops. Queen of sun-soaked pop tracks. Queen of being criminally overlooked despite having one of the best pop albums of the last decade. Queen of not giving a fuck and releasing an album of B sides that still trounces over all the competition. Queen of fringes. You get the idea.
A week ago we were hit the rather welcome surprise of Carly Rae Jepsen telling us there’s an Emotion Side B on the way, full of tracks that didn’t make the cut the first time round. In a way it’s kind of good that they didn’t because, even though this sort of thing always feels like the limp younger brother presented in a sort of shrug-shoulders, ‘soz in advance’ way, Jepsen has still presented a strong collection of jams that fully deserve a spotlight on their own.
Obviously the sound remains very much in the vein of the parent album – synths litter the landscape and and there’s relentlessly catchy drum patterns that’ll wallpaper many an East London night for a while to come. First Time kicks things off with suitable bombast but it’s Higher that really makes us stand back and applaud at just how far Jepsen’s come from her early days. Teenybop jammer to constructor of elaborate, near-MJ levels of funk-pop? Whatever you think of her music, there’s no doubt she’s running rings around her peers.
Admittedly while we’re glad that we’ve got more bounty from the Jeppo stable, it’s easy to imagine why some of these tracks weren’t substituted for even the lesser cuts on Emotion. Fever, Store, and Cry are by no means her best work, and would have ultimately detracted from a record that didn’t need more gloss. Having said that, Body Language‘s cosmic rollercoaster would have been an easy fit and Roses could have added a bit more heart among the pristine production, but it all just highlights one thing: whether she’s curating a full commercial set or just a smattering of off-cut B-sides, there’s no doubt that – in the pop game – Carly Rae Jepsen remains the queen of fucking everything.