“Sour Candy” is the last song on her first album.  And the final lyric is the namedrop of a subtheme that will reoccur again and again, culminating pretty notably in “I Didn’t Just Come Here To Dance.”  Carly was going out, now in pink stilettos, to either get the attention of her lover, or forget him, but never to have fun.  Never with her friends.


            Finishing my first listen through of this album was meaningful to me; I had now listened to, I thought, everything Carly had released to that point.  I didn’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of the artist or her music, but I’d gone through every song start to finish and made notes.  Little weird crazy person notes, yes, but the fact that I had heard it all felt big.

            That alone gave me a, possibly unearned, sense of accomplishment; I mean, I hadn’t done that with the Rolling Stones’ discography.  I hadn’t done that with The Beatles’ discography.  I had chosen a task, and I had pursued it exhaustively.  My backwards journey of Jepsen ended in Sour Candy, an openly and tearful bum-out about the end of a relationship, felt fitting.  Tug Of War had put the last tile on the roof, the last nail in the coffin, the rubber stamp on my theories and conjecture.




            What was I going to do with this?  Why had I done this?  Yes, fair point, Carly Rae Jepsen makes good ass music, but what were the notes?  What about my…what was even the word, “theory?”  Oh christ, was it a THEORY? Is that what I’d created here?

            “Well, maybe all popstars are like that.”  I thought, wondering if I hadn’t actually discovered some unique pattern.  I took a look around a few albums.  I broke down a Taylor Swift record.  Then I tried Britney Spears.  Then Christina Aguilera.  Michelle Branch.  Katy Perry.  P!NK.


            Nope.  It was just Jepsen.  This was her thing.  And that was so EXCITING OH MY GOD and yet, my efforts to explain it to my friends felt…at best, idiotic.  Or something else, something darker than stupid.   And what was worse was I couldn’t seem to get anyone to care.

            This had become meaningful to me.  The discovery of this pattern in the music felt representative of something bigger, something special, even if I didn’t know what it was.  My google searches became variations of “Carly Rae Jepsen friend-zone” as I frantically tried to find someone else, anyone else, who’d noticed the themes, sub-themes, Acts and possibly repeated narrative within Jepsen’s work.

            I kept typing in different combinations of “carly rae jepsen unifying theme” and “carly rae jepsen only sings about one thing” and coming up completely dry.  Nothing.  No one.  And surely there were bigger, more obsessive Jepsen fans than myself.

            Like there were people who woke up in the morning and put on Carly Rae Jepsen t-shirts.  There were probably people who wrote her fan mail and tweeted her every day and commented on every Instagram picture and had listened to every song 10,000 times and gone out of their way to see her live.

            Not one of them had noticed?  It was just me?  A person who has only watched two Carly Rae Jepsen music videos?   To me it seemed so obvious, but was there not one other person?


            Not even one?


            And during the moment of silence that followed this line of thought, I typed a new question into google:


            “how to tell if you are going crazy”