Review Round Up: Dedicated by Carly Rae Jepsen

The pop singer is back with a brand new album – but what have critics had to say about it?

Pitchfork: “She’s doing what she does best, calibrating lovesick or lovelorn synthpop that’s neither too hot nor too cold—and sometimes, regrettably, only lukewarm.”

The Guardian: **** “She leans equally well into her set pieces – as airy and delightful as whipped cream on Everything He Needs, built around a showtuney piano riff in debt to Bennie and the Jets – and reveals more of herself.” ” Dedicated is the work of a creator in progress, of an artisan sharpening her tools and fine tuning her attack. It can only get better from here.”

Express: **** “Her fourth studio album, Dedicated, comes almost four years after its predecessor and thrills with the confidence of a popstar comfortable with who she is.The self-assurance Dedicated exudes as a whole is, however, deceptive. Jepsen discarded almost 200 songs in a lengthy process of whittling down the final tracklist, a clear tell that the 33-year-old Canadian star could be anybody she wanted on a whim.” **** “Filled with lively, stylised pop tunes, she’s once again proven that she’s not just that girl from ‘Call Me Maybe’.”

Rolling Stone: *** 1/2 “Jepsen may have the soul of a teen queen, but she’s also got the wisdom of a 33-year-old woman.” “But enough of your supposed missteps, because all these apparent mistakes strike me more like destiny. Let me speak first as a fellow Canadian and ex-theater kid: It’s clear in retrospect that having a hit placed you in the wrong game, even a hit so in synch with Canadian insecurity that its key word was maybe. In a recent GQ interview, you quoted an ex-boyfriend as saying that being big in Japan (as you are, with your anime-esque looks and modest demeanor) might be the ideal level of pop prominence for you: You can get the cash and adoration on temporary leaves, while maintaining some anonymity in your private life.”

The Independent: **** “But “Party For One” remains the album’s highlight, harnessing the bouncy energy of Jepsen’s breakout hit. It is the perfect upbeat end to an album of polished pop. Perhaps this will put her at the top where she belongs.” “Jepsen has returned to a lot of the synths and Eighties musical tropes that made Emotion so good, but she never lets them wear her: she knows her shit and it shows.”

Variety: ” Jepsen nails these tracks with such ease that it seems bizarre she isn’t a bigger star. On album standout “Too Much,” her woundedly beautiful ruminations on the excesses of love flutter atop an instrumental that sounds like a reggaeton beat took half an Ambien and sprawled out on the couch scrolling through photos of exes.”

Irish Times: **** “Lifting our sorrows while addressing her own, Jepsen grants us salvation through pop. Committed? No. Dedicated.”

Paste Magazine: “Dedicated could’ve easily been either a woebegone heartbreak record or a carefree, lovestruck free-for-all had it been dreamt up by someone else. Instead, thanks to Ms. Jepsen’s talent for processing feelings, it’s an intersection of those two ends of the pop spectrum and a daring display of chart-topping sounds from across the decades.”

Slant Magazine: *** 1/2 “Jepsen deserves credit for committing to a pure pop sound when it might be shrewder to venture into more hip-hop-influenced terrain.”

The Times: ** “After taking a detour into indie in 2015 with the critically acclaimed but commercially underwhelming Emotion, Carly Rae Jepsen is going for maximum frothiness on her latest album. Unfortunately, listening to it the whole way through is like eating an entire tub of ice cream: it seems like a good idea at first, but it leaves you feeling pretty queasy afterwards.”

The Skinny: **** “Dedicated is packed with the sort of earworms that burrow into your subconscious, only to burst free later in a hail of bus stop humming and unaccompanied impromptu karaoke.”

Pop Matters: “regardless of what she chooses to pursue next, she can be confident that her cult following will dub her the Queen of it.”

The FT: *** “Her new songs have a solid, well-constructed quality — not perhaps the kind of thing to provide devastating ammunition in the running battles with the Mozarties, but enjoyable nonetheless.”

Dedicated is available to buy now.

%d bloggers like this: