By Zach Hester

Since bursting onto the scene with “Call Me Maybe” in 2011, Carly Rae Jepsen has maintained a career based on exploring and dissecting the pop genre to create some truly great songs. In her latest record, Dedicated, Jepsen uses soft, synth beats under some simple lyrics that convey a lot about love.

The record as a whole feels like something that Miley Cyrus might’ve made during her “7 Things” phase in the best kind of way. The theme of the whole record can be summed up in Carly’s quote, “the rush of [new love] is better than any drug”, especially with songs like “Now That I Found You” (which was featured on Netflix’s Queer Eye) and “No Drug Like Me”, which openly compares love to drug addiction.

In some aspects, a few songs on Dedicated sound like they belong on someone else’s album. Carly does a great job taking a sound from what someone else has done and making into her own, like on “Everything He Needs”, a reinvention of a theatre track from Popeye.

“Want You In My Room”, produced by Bleachers’ Jack Antonoff, sounds more like a Bleachers song than anything else, which is great since that’s one of my favorite bands. It also brings in strong elements from a few of Lana Del Rey’s more upbeat hits. Working with Jack seems to be a great turn for Carly, who was featured on Bleachers’ 2017 album, Gone Now.

My favorite song on the album by far is “Feels Right.” It features Asa Taccone of Electric Guest on vocals and the two of them couldn’t sound better together. Asa’s flawless falsetto mixes well with Carly’s bright voice, which lends itself well even on laid back tracks like “The Sound.”

Dedicated does the job of providing fans with plenty of great pop songs heading into the summer. It’s a good, not great pop record that hopefully will stay on my radar throughout the rest of the year.

Rating: ★★★½

Best Songs: Julien, Now That I Found You, Want You In My Room, The Sound, Feels Right