I truly do not understand why everyone is so obsessed with Carly Rae Jepsen
by Katie Way
I remember when Call Me Maybe came out in 2012. I didn't really care for it, but I didn't hate it or anything. I filed it in my mind with Rebecca Black's novelty pop banger Friday and then kind of forgot about it.
But now, everywhere I go, I see Her. Like a specter who exclusively haunts house parties and gay clubs, she often appears when I'm three beers deep. Confused. Vulnerable. Sometimes I don't even realize until it's too late, and everyone around me is screeching the chorus of Cut to the Feeling while I pretend to check my texts. I don't get it.
I don't understand when, how and why everyone got so into Carly Rae Jepsen.
me at work: hey you like pop music, you should listen to Carly Rae Jepsen's hit 2015 album E·MO·TION
co-worker: I guess. Didn't she do that crappy song Call Me Maybe?
me (out loud): sure but that was years ago she's developed as an artist
me (inside): fuck u that song's good too
— jeff is hexed, forever ✨ (@heyboots) November 10, 2017
Her fans are aggressively into her
When I brought my confusion up at a pregame on Saturday, a girl I had never met before lectured me about how important Jepsen is to the LGBTQ community. When I pitched this article, two different people in the pitch meeting got vocally mad at me! I feel attacked and guilty, because so many people whose taste I trust are genuine Carly Rae stans that I must be the one with the problem.
Look: in 2014, Carly Rae Jepsen hosted a charity event at Davids Tea in Toronto and 20 people attended. And now, in 2017, if I say that I haven't listened to Emotion all the way through people act like I fucking stabbed someone. What! Happened!
Someone was talking over Carly Rae Jepsen song at bar & someone else said "honey! When the lord speaks! We listen!" & then everyone danced to Cut To The Feeling
— mary boo anderson (@whoismaryboo) November 11, 2017
Initially, I was pretty confident that everyone was joking
The buzz and positive reviews surrounding the 2015 release of Emotion flew under my radar, but I have to assume that's where all of this began. Because by the time Emotion: Side B was released in 2016, fans were already rabid.
with great power comes great responsibility and so, in 280 characters, i am here to remind you that sex is intimate and sacred and that you should never share your body with someone who hasn't listened to carly rae jepsen's iconic pop album emotion and also emotion: side b
— joey (@squashdun) November 7, 2017
I feel like everyone is pulling a prank on me
The deeper I try to dig into the appeal of Jepsen, the more I feel like I'm gazing into a synth-laden abyss.
Her Twitter presence is bland. She doesn't even get that many Instagram likes for a famous person. She seems nice, but also like the most regular woman in the world and the music she makes doesn't do anything to change my opinion on that front!
Honestly, I'm not sure I'd recognize her if I saw her in public, and I recognized Zachary Quinto walking his dog in Washington Square Park last month, so the bar for that is pretty damn low.
Swim, sing repeat. All day, all day. 😂 pic.twitter.com/5Udr1BLktB
— Carly Rae Jepsen (@carlyraejepsen) July 5, 2017
Maybe, because I'm not a huge pop listener in general, I just don't have the palette to sense what makes Carly Rae Jepsen so "iconic." But it seems like every other pop icon has her "thing" — Beyoncé's splendid and sprawling God complex, Rihanna's refusal to give a fuck, Taylor's headline-dominating pettiness, Adele's permanent heartbreak. It's easier for me to understand the adulation these women inspire, because it seems like there's something substantive to their public image.
But Carly's main draw seems to be that she's a "thing" in the first place, which just isn't enough for me. I listened to all of Emotion for the first time while writing this article, and even if someone put a gun to my head I still don't think I could sing a single chorus.
I'm not saying that Carly is talentless, but I remain unconvinced by her body of work and irritated by the hype that surrounds it. Then again, I listen to Lil Pump, so fuck my opinions.