When I heard Carly Rae Jepsen was coming out with a new, more personal album called The Loneliest Time, I thought she might be a darker and brooding Carly this time around. Nothing says distraught like the album cover; Carly wearing tulle while pensively looking over some fake pears wrapped in pearls and dead flowers. Although, The Loneliest Time does have more introspective lyrics written during the pandemic, Carly’s style has stayed the same, in my gay opinion.
I avoided all the singles leading up to the album release because I wanted to have the full experience of hearing the album as a whole. If I had listened to “Talking To Yourself” and “Beach House,” I would have realized that Carly is still in perky pop princess mode. She does it well so I can’t blame her for sticking with the tried and true. I guess the only one of us who ended with angst, was me.
There are a couple ballads on the album that lived up to my expectations. “Bends” has a Morse Code beat and “the jar of tears I’ve cried” lyrics really brought the emotional turmoil I was seeking. Being a sucker for a good break-up song, Carly delivers on “Go Find Yourself Or Whatever” and I’m still swaying along to the bonus track “Keep Away” with it’s story of trying to stay away from the one you want.
The most surprising treats on The Loneliest Time are the songs where Carly flirts with flashbacks to the 70’s, yeah Carly Does Disco. “So Nice” has a very girl-group vibe with mandatory space gun sound effects, “Bad Thing Twice” has a very breathy Carly Simon (the original Carly) vocal, “Shooting Star” will have you on a LSD time-traveling trip to Studio 54, and the “The Loneliest Time” duet with Rufus Wainwright could have totally been written for Donna Summer and Barry Manilow.
The Loneliest Time isn’t the album I was expecting or hoping for. However, it is a typical Carly Rae Jepsen album. It got me moving around my bedroom and gave me Carly’s usual sugary-sweet musical fix… so, I can’t be mad at it.