The Serialization of Carly Rae Jepsen’s Singles

Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” tells the story of a girl looking for love, wishing for things she can only dream of. She’s reached a point of melancholic content. But from there it develops into a highly vast world–one filled with heart and hope–malaise and dread. Jepsen has delivered a second single, “I Really Like You”, that continues the story of our couple, following their story beyond those early days of phone digits and hot nights into something we could have never imagined–it’s a serialized set of singles telling a story of Biblical proportions.


Call Me Maybe

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It opens with Jepsen sitting at the wishing well; she throws coins into the water, wondering like The Goonies‘ Mikey if dreams do come true and if there really is any treasure out there? Can she save her parents house from becoming a country club? Will she be captured by the Fratellis and just what happened to One Eyed Willy? (All of this is metaphorical of course.)

Carly Rae at the wishing well.
Carly Rae at the wishing well.

From there, Jepsen, our protagonist is met by a sudden image. Is it a mirage? An angel? It is hard to look right at him, after all. Are those ripped jeans? Are those eyes locking or is it just the wind breaking through on this hot night?

Now normally when a man meets a woman there are cultural protocols that must be followed. Man pursues woman, asks her out, for her number, uses pick up line, etc… But in the world, in this–the 21st CENTURY, things have begun to shift. Shock upon shock, a twist that can only be compared to the greats, Jepsen approaches this man to give him her number. It’s a traditionalist’s nightmare, but this is Canada after all, the rules are different here.

Unfortunately for Jepsen this man takes quite a while to give her a call. This guy, living in the upside down dating world he does probably got together with all his boy friends and they made sure he didn’t put himself out there too quickly. ‘Ain’t no girl gonna take advantage of my boy’ is probably what they might have said.

Alas, Jepsen gets the call, her soul falls for him and she can only express herself in illogical poetry, talking about missing him before they even met. And there the story ends, girl and boy’s hearts twirling together as they fall in…

Wait, what?

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Isn’t this story over? Can’t we imagine the happily ever after?

Nope.


Call Me Maybe II: I Really Like You

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It’s easy to tell this is the same boy as in the original, because of just how coy he is. He made her approach him, he waited to call her, and now he makes her wait to hold his hand. He’s quite the tease, but that doesn’t stop the couple from spending every waking hour together.

Jepsen again bursts out with joy in the presence of this guy, exclaiming her feelings with extreme repetition (really, really, really, really, really, really). But here she too expresses caution (this may be because of her always being in her own head), not willing to commit to that four letter word.

Despite her youthful vigor, Jepsen expresses quite a bit of maturity here. The first song (in what I assume will be a trilogy) showcased the progressivism present in our hero, but here we see growth. Jepsen knows and believes that l*** is a powerful word and she’s not willing to throw it around even if the guy has the most fantastic pair of ripped jeans or eyes that should be illegal because of just how cute they are. It’s too soon for that and wisely she sticks to milder forms of linguistic affection.

And yet, in a classic sequel moving onto a trilogy move, the song ends with an unanswered question. The Empire Strikes Back left us with a frozen Han Solo, Back to the Future II with a question of how to rescue Doc Brown from the wild west, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest with a dead Jack Sparrow, and now I Really Like You ends with a repeated question: I want you, do you want me, do you want me too?

Having bared her soul (again, in a very wise and mature manner) Jepsen is awaiting her answer. As we know, this boy takes it slow, he is not to be played for a fool here. And all we’re left with is speculation–a classic cliffhanger Jepsen, you really got us here.


What do you think will happen in part III?

Will it begin with him telling her his feelings? Will she be rejected or will the third push the trilogy beyond like and into l***? Will we see a marriage or perhaps a tragic ending with one of the lovers passing on and the other stuck in a forever unrequited love?

Maybe she will go the George Lucas route, giving us a grand finale in part III before coming back years later to provide unnecessary explanations for our characters (she likes wishing wells because her dad was a wishing well designer; he has ripped jeans because he was skateboarding!) only to sell the property to Disney a decade after that where they will take it back to the levels that it once was at (oh please please please please please please be true).

Whatever happens, it’s sure to get fans excited. Jepsen-ites everywhere are waiting for part III and until then we can only speculate.

Be sure to throw out your fan theories in the comments below, for now that’s all we’ve got.

Top 25 Songs of 2012

Best 25 songs of the year. Listen on Spotify here: Best Songs of 2012

25. “Some Nights” by fun.

24. “Simple Song” by The Shins

23. “Forget” by The Chariot

22. “I Am a Seed” by David Crowder Band

21. “Letters” by Branches

On Spotify: Branches – Letters

20. “This Girl” by The Punch Brothers

19. “Yet Again” by Grizzly Bear

18. “Neither Here Nor There” by Lost in the Trees

17. “Rice and Beans (But No Beans)” by The Welcome Wagon

On Spotify: The Welcome Wagon – Rice and Beans (But No Beans)

16. “Beach Sluts” by Howler

15. “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men

14. “National Anthem” by The Gaslight Anthem

13. “I Never Knew You” by The Avett Brothers

On Spotify: The Avett Brothers – I Never Knew You

12. “We Can’t Be Beat” by The Walkmen

11. “New Ceremony” by Dry the River

10. “Hot Knife” by Fiona Apple

9. “Grist For the Malady Mill” by mewithoutYou

8. “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift

7. “Climax” by Usher

6. “Fire’s Highway” by Japandroids

5. “Justice Delivers Its Death” by Sufjan Stevens

4. “Thinkin’ Bout You” by Frank Ocean

3. “Anna Sun” by Walk the Moon

2. “Bright Whites” by Kishi Bashi

1. “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen

I’ve got to call this the song of the year. Was there any other song that captured the masses like this one did? I still find it extremely catchy, not too cheesy, and fun after hearing it probably hundreds of times. Though it may lack depth, musicianship, or be groundbreaking, a song that has that kind of lasting power deserves recognition and I am recognizing it here (though I don’t think Carly Rae cares too much at this point)

“Call Me Maybe” represents everything that is good and bad about music today. The countless parody videos it inspired are both fun and absolutely terrible. The unity that music can bring is seen through Jepsen’s catchy chorus, unfortunately the response to this unity is people dancing stupidly. Love it or hate it, this is the song of the year.

Top 10 Radio Hits of 2012

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This is something that I started last year, and I figured it’s a good way to rank my guilty pleasure songs of the year. Not that these songs won’t be appearing on my top songs list, but let’s just say that some definitely won’t.

It is hard to come up with a criteria for this, because what exactly does a radio hit mean? I tried to stick to songs that were mostly popular on Top 40 radio stations (I scoured the Billboard charts to see what was big and when), but I don’t really listen to top 40 radio, so that’s hard.

These songs were big on at least some radio station or some chart, there were hits in some sense of the word and are usually songs that despite all of your efforts against it, repeat in your head endlessly. Anytime these come on, like a gag reflex of sorts, I sing along.

My Top 10 Radio Hits of 2012:

Listen along on Spotify: Top 10 Radio Hits of 2012

10. Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen “Good Time”-I thought I would like this song a bit more than I actually did, because, while Jepsen and Owl City are both equally sweet, as a duet they don’t really flow together that well. The song is good, but doesn’t quite meet the level that it could have. Honestly the best part is that Owl City’s vocals remind me so much of the lead singer of Mae and I wish that it was him singing it instead and that Mae was huge and awesome.

9. David Guetta with Sia “Titanium”-David Guetta is pretty held back for most of this song, which is really refreshing for him. He allows the song to slowly build behind Sia’s vocals before exploding into the chorus, where they pretty kill it (how can you not like the “…I am titanIUM” part?).

8. Justin Bieber “Boyfriend”-This song is both ridiculously cheesy and really well sung. Every part where Biebs is rapping is terrible, both lyrically and in execution. Bieber says swag way too often, which makes him come out looking like some high-schooler making a song for his You Tube channel (imagine that?). However the parts he does sing have been (rightly) called Timberlake-esque. They are really well done and perhaps when Biebs get older (or hires some better lyricists) he can get to that point too.

7. Maroon 5 “Payphone”-Maroon 5 is constantly making ear worms that come inside you and tortuously wreck your brain, last year’s “Moves Like Jagger” is the number 1 example of that (perhaps the worst song ever that you cannot simply get out of your brain). “Payphone” surprisingly seems thoughtful, it is more restrained and instead of torturing you, more pleasingly eats away at your brain cells. If Whiz Kalifa wasn’t in it, with that lame rap verse it might even be higher.

6. One Direction “What Makes You Beautiful”-I am actually surprised how much I like this song. It doesn’t really have the vocal style and content that I enjoy (even in a pop song). Whatever it is doing, it somehow worked it’s way to number 6 on my list, good job by you!

5. Mumford & Sons “I Will Wait”-Not sure how big this was on Top 40 radio, but it was on some radio so it counts right? With this one, Mumford created the perfect radio single for themselves, it is accessible, contains some of those passionate vocals, along with their now classic strumming pattern and banjo stylings. I think it might be there best song off of the new album, it is nothing groundbreaking, but perhaps they are best served for making impassioned folk songs accessible for everyone.

4. Gotye “Somebody That I Used to Know”-This song really came out of nowhere to becoming a big hit. How did people get into this? It is a slow song with an indie feel, that is actually kind of sad. It is extremely catchy, and you just know that I will be a sucker for a song combining all of those elements. It is you America that I am surprised at.

3. fun. “Some Nights”-This band’s other song, “We Are Young” was probably the bigger hit, but I didn’t find very much interesting or redeeming about that song, and believe me, I love fun. I have been following singer Nate Ruess’ work for the past 6 years, in his old project The Format, and in fun.’s debut album “Aim & Ignite” (which to be clear was my album of the year in 2009). The boy’s broke it big this year, which was shocking to me. This song throws together all the best parts of Nate’s work over the years. It has the depth and honesty that made me love The Format, it has the epic drama that fun.’s debut had, and combines the auto tune and production stylings that helped to get them big this year.

2. Taylor Swift “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”-The first time I ever heard this song was on the radio and I swear that I was listening to something by Avril Lavigne from 10 years ago, and I mean that in the best way imaginable. Taylor Swift somehow managed to go from singing pop-country songs to making an acoustic pop anthem. Seriously, has anyone ever done this before?

1. Carly Rae Jepsen “Call Me Maybe”-Was there a better radio hit this year? Dare I ask if there was a better song this year? The inflections in her voice are irresistible, she is so charming, innocent, and lovely. This song sparked so many video covers and caused so many people to dance stupidly, but this hype did not turn me off to this song. I still love it every time I hear it.

Honorable mentions: “Drive-By” by Train, “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson, “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons”, “Hey Ho” by the Lumineers