I don’t know if anyone else ever does this, but whenever I trawl through the charts listening to the songs I’ve yet to hear anywhere else, I sometimes black out and wake up covered in blood. Usually this is because I listen to a song whose success is so bewildering to me that I can’t help but murder people, maybe. One such song was ‘Call Me Maybe’ by Carly Rae Jepsen, who like, how is she NOT just Taylor Swift 2.0? With a name like that? It’s like she’s the sweet, innocent 16 year old that gets put through the first few rounds of American Idol auditions just because the judges can’t bear to make her cry on national television, because how can Jennifer Lopez harvest her tears to bathe in then?
The most alarming thing about this song, though, is that it’s a hit. But it sounds like a hit from 10 years ago. This is like, the 2012 version of Mandy Moore’s ‘Candy’.
Turns out that J Lo couldn’t bathe in her tears anyway, though, because she was on CANADIAN Idol instead. So, on one hand I feel a bit of, “Oh, good on you!” about this song simply because, well, how many successful Canadian pop artists are there? But on the other hand, I listen to this song and think, “Ah…so this is why there aren’t many successful Canadian pop artists.” It’s not that it’s egregiously bad, it’s just it sounds like a mash-up between squeaky-clean pop from 2003, with a clubbier offering from 1997 (maybe like, a Cher b-side?) and some timelessly shitty lyrics. I mean, really:
I threw a wish in the well, Don’t ask me, I’ll never tell/I looked to you as it fell, and now you’re in my way
I trade my soul for a wish, pennies and dimes for a kiss/I wasn’t looking for this, but now you’re in my way
Seriously, somewhere, Taylor Swift is cursing the day she sold her soul to Satan for the gift of unlimited clichés, because she just had a couple stolen out from underneath her. But at least Swift has youth on her side; Jepsen is 26, for shit’s sake. Grow the fuck up. Your similarly-aged contemporaries are singing about how many dicks they can fit in their mouth, and you just want to…give a guy money to kiss you? Honey, just hire a hooker. It’s what the rest of us…uh, never do ever.
Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me, maybe?
This, the song’s main lyrical hook, is DESTINED to be the Facebook status of tens of thousands of attention-starved 14 year olds.
It’s hard to look right, at you baby, but here’s my number, so call me, maybe?
Well I wouldn’t do this personally, but if she wants to give her number to a solar eclipse, by all means…
Your stare was holdin’, Ripped jeans, skin was showin’/Hot night, wind was blowin’/Where you think you’re going, baby?
PSSST if he’s walking away from you he probably doesn’t like you!
The clip is a bit ridiculous – she pervs on a guy with stupid tattoos while he mows the lawn, but it turns out he doesn’t want to cut HER grass, instead opting to give his number to one of her band members – one who is very much too ugly to deserve it, I might add. Also, that keyboardist must really get sick of playing the same thing over and over for literally the whole song. Also, the guy probably wasn’t gay before he saw the terrible outfit she puts on after knocking herself out washing her car.
It’s hard to analyse how this song reflects on current pop simply because it’s so…absent of everything else. There’s no real dedication to present trends…but maybe that’s a good thing? After four weeks on the Billboard charts it sits at number 23, which isn’t too bad (it hit number 1 in Canada, and sits at number 3 in Australia currently). It might not be a mega-hit, but it might be a sign of a bit of a step away from hideous dance music domination. That said, the song was co-written by…Lady Gaga? I feel like it must be a cast-off from The Fame or something, because this does not sit with any of Gaga’s current aesthetics. Actually, it just sounds like a lost Katy Perry song – an alarming trend, if you consider Nicki Minaj’s ‘Starships’. Jepsen doesn’t have a bad voice, but I feel like she’ll never better this song, unless she tries to court a more country-pop audience that sits better with her look/sensibility. Because this song just makes her seem stupid.
So shut up, maybe?