carly rae jepsen will save pop music

hear us (and her) out, maybe?

Photographed by Matthew Welch

While the other reigning pop darlings duked it out over Twitter, Carly Rae Jepsen has been quietly making the best pop music the past few years have heard. Her third album E•MO•TION, out now, is one of the year's best. It's perfect pop music: Blissful, tongue-in-cheek takes on universal themes (the Big L, in Jepsen's case) that's sugary without being saccharine. From the echoing saxophone that kicks off the album's first track "Run Away With Me," Jepsen is relentless in her pop convictions. It's an album rich with youthful-toying-with-adulthood longing her peers can only hope to capture on such a universal level. It's no wonder some of today's best and progressive names appear in the project's credits.

Thanks to collaborations with Sia, Devonté Hynes, Tegan and Sara, Rostam Batmanglij, and Ariel Rechtshaid, E•MO•TION puts Jepsen an echelon of her own, above the petty tabloid drama and its respective cookie-cutter projects. There is not one song on E•MO•TION that you could imagine sounding any different from what it is. She understands what it takes to make a genuinely good pop song; a song that's catchy without being earwormy. On the contrary, Jepsen's pop is the kind of pop you welcome returning to and listening to on repeat…maybe. The innocence she taps in to is filled with nostalgia. We've all thought, I really, really, really, really, really, really like you at some point in our lives. We've all had that one romance that's had us think, Hey, maybe I am capable of this feelings thing. (And if you haven't, well, brace yourself.) The difference with Jepsen is she makes inanely honest music about it. And E•MO•TION is her magnum opus (so far). Carly Rae Jepsen is the pop star we need, but don't necessarily deserve.

Hear us (and her) out in the pages ahead.