Carly Rae Jepsen is a Canadian singer and songwriter who has been making music since 2008, when she released her debut album, “Tug of War.” However, most people know Jepsen from her 2012 smash hit “Call Me Maybe.” Though she is widely considered to be a one-hit-wonder, and people (mistakenly) believe that she hasn’t made any music since, she’s had great success with tracks such as “I Really Like You” and “Good Time.”
In October, Jepsen released her sixth studio album, “The Loneliest Time.” Long-time fans were elated, but they quickly realized that the 16-track record is not her best work. The album is still good, but it didn’t leave listeners wanting to play it over and over again. Her album “Emotion’’ is much better; songs like “Run Away With Me,” “Boy Problems” and “L.A. Hallucinations” remain fan favorites to this day.
Songs from “The Loneliest Time” can be divided into three categories: “Bop,” “Skip” and “In Between.” Note that a “skip” does not imply a bad song but rather one that listeners are less likely to replay.
The catchy and relatable lyrics of “Talking to Yourself,” makes it one of the best songs “The Loneliest Time” has to offer. The song is about how a person can talk to someone else without having spoken to them at all, like when you practice having a conversation with someone in your head and imagine what they would say. In “Talking to Yourself,” Jepsen is essentially asking a person if they still think of her.
“Beach House” is another favorite from the album. In the song, Jepsen comically reflects on the various men she has dated and explains how they have been less-than-ideal matches. In the chorus, she sings, “Boys around the world / I want to believe that when you chase a girl / It’s not just hunting season.” Many listeners can relate to this line, as they too are tired of the games that accompany modern dating.
The title track of the album, “The Loneliest Time,” is a very disco-esque song. It has gone viral on TikTok, and the lines, “What happened was / We reached the moon / But lost in space, I think we got there all too soon” ring through phone speakers worldwide. The entire song is not nearly as upbeat as the bridge, so, if you hadn’t heard the viral TikTok sound, you would be surprised by the abrupt tonal change. Nevertheless, the grounding sincerity of the track builds up to a cheerful ending.
“Shooting Star” is a fun, upbeat track; you can definitely drive around town blasting the song. The lyrics describe liking someone to the point that they feel like your shooting star. The song comes across as very playful, and if you like astrology, you’ll love “Shooting Star” even more, as Jepsen repeatedly mentions her status as a Scorpio.
In Between Songs
“Go Find Yourself or Whatever” is one of the more emotional songs on the album. Jepsen’s lover is sad and distant: “You feel safe in sorrow / You feel safe on an open road / Go find yourself or whatever / I wake up hollow / You made me vulnerable.” To minimize the pain that comes with letting someone go, Jepsen tells her lover to go find himself and endearingly says that she hopes his journey will treat him better than she could.
“Bends” feels like poetry; it’s a beautiful song in which the speaker repeatedly denies that a breakup has happened. They ask, “How can this be life?” The song is heartbreaking to say the least.
“Joshua Tree” deals with themes of love and escape in the California desert. The song features lines like, “I’m in the moment, living undercover / Paintin’ on each other all the colors, I can’t get enough.”
“Western Wind” is, for many fans, a comfort ballad. It feels like something you would listen to after experiencing something triggering to calm down. It’s a song for those trying to self-regulate difficult emotions, but it’s an equally good tune to listen to while driving or walking.
“Sideways” explains how a person can be obnoxiously happy once they’re in a relationship. The person in the song proclaims, “I’m that annoying type / Who don’t care if there’s traffic / Cause I’ve got plans tonight.” The speaker describes how everything is going their way, even if things go sideways. “Sideways” is not a bad song; it’s just not the best. That’s why it’s labeled as a “skip.”
“So Nice” is very similar to “Sideways,” as the speaker details how their new love interest is, to quote Jepsen, “so nice.” While fans can be happy for the person in the song, some just don’t want to listen to lovesick music all the time. Call them bitter, but they’re just not in that phase of life.
“Surrender My Heart” is a great opener for the record, but it’s not a song that fans want to hear over and over again.
“Far Away” and “Bad Thing Twice” almost feel like the same song. The first is practically an extension of the second: “Far Away” is about giving a love a second try, whereas “Bad Thing Twice” is about wanting to date someone even though they’re not good for you. Some listeners might relate to these songs, but others are busy trying to move on from past relationships instead. Fans who cannot fully feel these songs would label them as skips.
While “The Loneliest Time” is not Jepsen’s best work, it’s still worth listening to. If you like the artist, you’re in for a treat; and if you’re not familiar with her music, her newest album is a worthy introduction. Jepsen is a very talented artist and deserves all of the recognition she gets. Maybe more.