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Kiss - Carly Rae Jepsen

Kiss album artwork

I never would have gone out of my way to write a review on this album, but a friend of mine told me that it was better than the EP and recommended that I give it a listen. I listened to said EP a few months ago (Curiosity) and felt that it lacked anything attention-grabbing or noteworthy. Kiss is a much more solid effort, and while I am happy that I gave it a chance, I still wouldn’t personally recommend it to any of my friends. The best way to sum up an album like this is like opting for a place like Subway instead of McDonalds – you can feel decent about yourself for choosing a healthier and fresher alternative, but it’s still fast food. Kiss is just a really well-done teen-pop album loaded with breezy, simple girl-next-door numbers that all start to roll together near the end. Jepsen does have some sort of knack for songwriting that stand out in the tracks Guitar String / Wedding Ring and This Kiss. For every track that’s somewhat interesting though, is succeeded by some sort of overly simple, predictable, radio friendly song. The collaboration efforts are the biggest weaknesses of Jepsen’s second studio outing. Good Time is painfully radio-friendly and is more suited sonically for Owl City’s album, and Beautiful is a by-the-numbers duet featuring Justin Bieber that will do nothing to either’s career. Jepsen is best solo – and while the whole thing sounds too familiar and predictable, there are a couple of stand-out tracks I might contemplate putting on my iPod. More Than A Memory has atmospheric production I was easily swept into, and Tonight I’m Getting Over You is a floorstomper.

Overall, this album is passable. It’s a solid effort and will be very enjoyable to those who were ever fans of the teen pop artists of the early 2000s era such as Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera. I was expecting to see a little more maturity since she cited inspirations such as Robyn and Madonna. Being a big believer in bonus tracks, I did seek them out. They are all conceptually similar to everything else I heard. I Know You Have a Girlfriend is a standout. I doubt the people who will be buying this album are the types to read reviews, which speaks to the nature and intent of the album: carefree, uplifting, and slightly more interesting than the latest efforts of her competitors. Just don’t think too much about the simplicity of it all.

2.5/5

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