PART 2 ANNEX -

EMOTION (2015) - A TRACK BY TRACK EXPLORATION

 

            The first sound you hear on the album of EMOTION is some kind of wailing, low cry; a kind of synth bagpipe.  This melodic explosion is catchy and instantly iconic; it brings to mind the opening of Rod Stewart’s “Rhythm of My Heart,” a song I only know because it was used in the end credits of a 1996 Ted Danson movie about the Loch Ness Monster.

 

            As I said, I am not a music critic.

 

            Yet even these bagpipes are important, because they, like so much on this album, don’t feel “straight up happy.”  There’s a feeling of longing to them; of unfulfilled desire.

 

            Seriously, go listen to it.  It feels like you’re missing someone, or something.  Longing for something you can’t have.  And that’s confirmed within the lyrics of the album.

 

            Keep in mind as we get into this, any song analyzed individually will sound like me being super silly and OCD about a pop confection.

 

            But warning, dear reader: as they stack up, I will sound progressively less silly.

 

1 - RUN AWAY WITH ME

 

          We open with the introduction of three of our themes: LIMERENCE, SECRETS and ESCAPE.

 

“”

You're stuck in my head, stuck on my heart, stuck on my body, body

I wanna go, get out of here, I'm sick of the party, party

I'd run away

I'd run away with you

“”

 

           The ESCAPE theme should be obvious, but there’s more to unpack even here in the first lyrics.

As you’ll come to see, Carly almost always contextualizes her romantic desire as “stuck” or “blocking” her in some way; it is always a suspicious, troubling obstacle.  An easy example that might jump to your mind before we get too deep into this is the repetition of “you’re in my way” on “Call Me Maybe.”

 

          Appearing alongside this is the emergent subtheme of being “in someone’s head.”  The idea of love, or romantic feelings, as trapping someone psychologically, or wanting your love to be trapped in someone else’s head, often specifically with variations of those words: “stuck in my head.”  So let’s call this subtheme that: Stuck In My Head.

 

          That’s gonna show up a lot.

 

          Alongside this is the idea that Carly isn’t interested in being around other people, specifically other people in a social setting like a party and would rather be alone with Her Love.  This idea, of separating to be alone, we’ll call Alone With Someone, and the subtheme of not being interested in groups or revelry unless there’s some kind of ulterior motive, we’ll call Partying With An Ulterior Motive.

 

          Let’s name these sub-themes, and catalogue them, to make identifying them easier as we go.  Every subtheme we encounter, I’ll identify and point out, so you can recognize it when it reappears.  So right now we have Stuck In My Head, Alone With Someone and Partying With An Ulterior Motive.

 

          These themes might, like everything I point out, at first seem innocent, or like common pop tropes.  But, as we go, I cannot overstate how many times these specific ideas are going to reappear, so it’s worth naming them now.

We also have our first sighting of wanting to ESCAPE, and have someone to yourself.  This is contextualized further in the next lyric.

 

This is the part, you've got to say all that you're feeling, feeling

Packing a bag, we're leaving tonight when everyone's sleeping, sleeping

 

          Two more themes introduced here that we’re going to see endlessly, again and again, so they’re important to point out.  The first is subtle, and that’s that the man has not agreed to run away with her, nor has he expressed the things she believes/wants him to feel.

 

          She is entreating him: “Say what you’re feeling.”  This Run Away plan is hers and hers alone; a fantasy. Notice in the first lyric “I’d run away with you” not “I will run away with you.”

Again I’m going to have to ask you to go on trust here that this is going to be important.  Let’s call this subtheme Not Saying Something.

 

          The second theme is less subtle: the idea of a SECRET escape.  That no one can know that they’re going away together, and that they must do it at night, “when everyone’s sleeping.”

 

“”

Oh baby, take me to the feeling

I'll be your sinner, in secret

When the lights go out

Run away with me

Run away with me

“”

 

          Ah, see, there we go: our SECRET is confirmed.  It’s also the first time on the album Jepsen talks about the “lights going out,” and doing a secret escape under the cover of darkness.  But it’s not the first in her career, and it won’t be the last.  Not by a long shot.

 

          It’s worth bringing up the word “sinner” here.  It’d be easy to dismiss this as a cutesy sexual reference; they’ll hook up with no lights on.  But the song is meant to be romantic; again, the love Carly is describing must be kept “secret,” because it is a “sin.”  This is a secret or Bad/Forbidden Love somehow.

 

          Why?

 

          It’s weird typing this out right now.  It’s like telling people “Tyler Durden and the Narrator are the same person” when they’ve never even seen a trailer for FIGHT CLUB.

 

“”

Up in the clouds, high as a kite, over the city, city

We never sleep, we never tried, when you are with me, with me

“”

 

          Here’s Carly referring to love as being a “high.”  You’ll come to see that “getting high” and “being turned on” are shorthand for the type of love Carly is chasing.  So that’s Getting High.

 

          We also see that she has never had a sleepover with the man she’s entreating to run away with her.  This idea, of Spending The Night Together is impactful later, but Staying Up All Night is just as important. Sleeping, not sleeping, and dreaming figure hugely into Carly’s work.

 

          This is our first real evidence of LIMERENCE, the first stages of love, where it feels like a manic, lovely high.  But it also shows us that this guy is probably not her boyfriend, and certainly not in any kind of stable or long term relationship.

 

          Everything we suspected about this “getaway” being a proposal rather than a reality is confirmed on the song’s bridge.

 

Hold on to me

I'll never want to let you go

(Run away with me, run away with me)

Over the weekend

We can turn the world to gold, oh oh

(Run away with me, run away with me)

 

          Again, she’s not describing something that’s actually happened, and here, it almost sounds like it’s not going to happen.  She’s nearly begging him; “I’ll never want to let you go.”  Begging For Affection/Love, much more blatant than this, will be found later.

 

          One more couplet we should examine:

 

“”

I'll be your hero, I'm willing

When the lights go out

“”

 

          This is an idea that will recur in various ways across all of Carly’s “escape” songs; the idea that by running away with her, she will save Her Lover from a bad situation, be his hero, and in some way, doing this will sacrifice some element of herself; she’s “willing.”

 

          The duality of Carly painting herself both as a “sinner” villain, and a romantic “hero” is worth remembering.

 

2 - EMOTION

 

          The themes on this one are OBSESSION, REJECTION, MISERY and ESCAPE.  And we jump straight into it off the top.

 

“”

Be tormented by me babe

Wonder, wonder how I do

How's the weather? Am I better?

Better now that there's no you?

Drink tequila for me babe

Let it hit you cool and hot

Let your feelings be revealing

That you can't forget me

“”

 

          Another new subtheme: Separation By Physical Distance shows up here, but something more worth discussing is the nature of “love” in Carly Rae Jepsen’s music.

 

          Carly here again characterizes love as a bad thing, that causes pain, and torment; a memory that won’t fade and tortures someone long after a relationship ends.  Here, she’s using it to empower herself…or so it seems.

 

          Because she’s not saying love actually torments Her Former Lover.  She’s saying SHE HOPES it does. Carly is actively worried about Being Forgotten.  It takes a second to understand, but

then the next lyrics come help us out.

 

“”

Not a flower on the wall

I am growing ten feet, ten feet tall

In your head and I won't stop

Until you forget me, get me not

“”

 

          When she was with this guy, she was Shy, a wallflower.  This is going to come back up a billion more times; in the time since the relationship with Her Former Lover has ended, Carly has blossomed.  And now…

 

          …”In your head and I won’t stop.”  Rings a bell, right?  That’s because like 4 minutes ago on Runaway With Me she starts the album talking about something being Stuck In Her Head as the opening line.

 

          Carly is expressing something here that’s huge, and deeply emotionally broken: she wants Her Love to feel what she feels for him, and for it to torture him the way it tortures her.

 

          But it doesn’t.

 

“”

In your fantasy, dream about me

And all that we could do with this emotion

Fantasy, dream about me

And all that we could do with this emotion

This emotion, I feel it

This emotion, you feel it

All that we could do with this emotion

“”

 

          The chorus seals the deal: despite the sassy attitude of the opening lyrics, this isn’t a break-up song. She is still madly in love with him, and wants him to dream of a world where he feels the same way about her that she does about him.

           But he doesn’t.

 

          Dreams and fantasies are a massive, entrenched subtheme in Carly’s work.  She is almost always escaping into them, and within her dreams and fantasies, she is loved by the person she’s singing to.

 

          Compare this, for example, to one of Carly’s contemporary popstars, Katy Perry: let’s take for example Perry’s use of “dreams” on Teenage Dream.  This song is also about proposing a fun, sexy getaway, but it’s mutual; “You make me feel like I’m living a teenage dream.”

 

          The difference is linguistically subtle but philosophically huge; Katy is so loved, she feels like she’s living a dream, whereas Carly Rae escapes to dreams in order to feel loved.

 

          I’ll stop saying this so often, but: This is going to come back.

 

“”

Paint a picture for me, boy

Where the sky's forever blue

Tell me there is nothing

I can't have and nothing you won't do

Toss and turn without me, boy

Let it hit you cold and hot

All my kisses, say you'll miss it

And you can forget me not

“”

 

          Our second verse here is just more asking for him to love her; specifically, asking him to imagine a fantasy world they can escape to, where he will love her, and remember her, the way she loves and remembers him.

 

3 - I REALLY LIKE YOU

 

          This was the single, and functions in many ways as a kind of “sequel” to Call Me Maybe, aiming for the same catchy repetitive hook and bright shiny fun that made that song a hit.  Primary themes touched on here are TEMPTATION and LIMERENCE, but, as always, sigils of other narrative threads rear their heads very quickly.

 

“”

I really wanna stop

But I just got the taste for it

“”

 

          Already we have the song starting with the words “I really wanna stop.”  The theme of temptation, as always, made literal: the idea that the thing that she desires is somehow Bad/Forbidden Love.

 

“”

I feel like I could fly with the boy on the moon

So honey hold my hand, you like making me wait for it

I feel like I could die walking up to the room, oh yeah

“”

 

          So here’s the idea of love Getting High with the flying to the moon thing, but also more themes of temptation, of a “friend” who’s teasing her, and forcing her to make the first move.  Let’s also talk about the wording of that second lyric: I feel like I could die walking up to the room.

 

          --> “Walking up to the room.” <--

 

          “Up to the room.”  It’s an interesting way to say that.  Not “your room,” not “my room,” but “the room.”  It seems innocuous, but the idea of this potentially being a “hotel,” or something tempting happening in a hotel room, will return later in her discography.

 

Late night, watching television

But how'd we get in this position?

It's way too soon, I know this isn't love

But I need to tell you something

“”

 

          Late night watching television, but not on a date.  This person is a platonic friend, and the “position” they’re in seems to more be a reference to a sexual position rather than a “difficult philosophical quandary.” Things may have become physical.

 

          And the connection is strong enough that Carly, despite warning herself that it’s too soon, needs to make a declaration.

 

“”

I really really really really really really like you

And I want you. Do you want me? Do you want me too?

“”

 

          As usual, a declaration of affection or desire is presented as a risk, and asks for any kind of validation of her feelings as soon as the next lyric:

 

“”

Oh, did I say too much?

I'm so in my head

When we're out of touch

“”

 

          There’s a couple of sub-themes at play: the idea that Carly Has Said Something She Regrets, the idea that she’s Trapped In Her Head, and Physical Separation from Her Would Be Lover shows up here, as well.

 

          Let’s remember Saying Something You Regret.  The idea that Carly said something she greatly regrets, implied to be an over-declaration of love, is consistent all the way back to her unreleased first album that she wrote when she was 16 years old.  

 

“”

It's like everything you say is a sweet revelation

All I wanna do is get into your head

Yeah we could stay alone, you and me, in this temptation

“”

 

          The Into Your Head theme shows up here; she wants him to think about her like she thinks about his “sweet revelations,” and, like always, even having to state this implies that he doesn’t.

We’ve got her again desiring to have him Alone, and the idea of temptation and infatuation; a relationship that hasn’t started yet, that even identifying out loud might be “saying too much.”

 

4 - GIMMIE LOVE

 

          Gimmie Love is a fascinating and archetypal case study in the Jepsen style of Fake Out Love Songs.  Listened to casually, Gimmie Love sounds like a typical romantic bopper; happy and sexy, affectionate and sultry.  But the second you actually clue into the lyrics, a more sinister picture is painted, and we see the real themes present here:

MISERY and OBSESSION.

 

“”

Worlds fly by

Drove by your place and stopped again tonight

I know I said that I'm too scared to try

But I still think about you, think about you

And I can't lie

I like the feeling, how you make me shy

I share my secrets and I will not hide

I know that one could be two, one could be two

“”

 

          So already we have her parked outside his place, repeatedly, obsessively Saying Something She Regrets, and someone being Stuck In Her Head/Trapped By Emotions, Being Made Shy. Worth saying, Cars and Driving are a leitmotif as well. I mean, that’s like a Carly Rae Jepsen BINGO at this point, and we’re only four songs in.

 

“”

Gimme love

Gimme love, gimmie love, gimmie love, gimmie love

Gimme touch

Cause I want what I want, do you think that I want too much?

“”

 

          Right up until the last lyric, this could’ve been a normal pop chorus.  “Do you think I want too much?” Again, she is entreating him, begging him even, and aware that her desire could very probably be rejected.

 

          This is where the fascinating interplay of the relationship Carly always describes comes into focus. And I should say: it does always appear to be one relationship, or at least, one very specific type of relationship.

 

          It sounds like she wants to get a guy who SHE broke up with, via saying something, and yet in the details of the language, it becomes clear that it’s him who left her, and the thing she was maybe “too scared to try” was actually just interacting with him AFTER the break up.

 

          Here, take a look:

 

“”

Eyes so bright

You got a hold of me the whole damn night

I toss and turn but still I can't sleep right

I should've asked you to stay, begged you to stay

“”

 

          She doesn’t literally mean he’s holding her.  The hold is mental; he’s “stuck in her head,” unable to SLEEP (dreaming and sleeping of course already a subtheme), and she is tortured by regret, deciding she should’ve begged him to stay with her.

 

          Someone not Spending The Night Together and Staying Up All Night are common Carly Themes, and will be back very often; this lyric specifically evokes an image from “Cry,” on Emotion Side B.

 

“”

It's the way we are together

Wanna feel like this forever

It's the way we are together

And I never thought I'd ever

Say forever

“”

 

          In the bridge, we get more imagery relevant to our subtheme of Carly’s hesitation:  She never thought she’d say forever, but now she has…And she’s begging for him to come back and let the way she felt with him be a reality.

5 - ALL THAT

 

         “All That” is interesting because it’s very simply a love song…But of course, as I’ve said, Carly doesn’t really do straight up love songs.  Her love songs fall into three definable categories: expressing hesitant shock and being overwhelmed that she’s found a LIMERENCE connection with someone, pitching an escape where she and her love interest would leave all the burdens of their lives and be alone together, or, like this song, begging for the attention of someone who doesn’t want her, and who very probably has someone else.

 

         Under this headline, this song like many others falls into the realm of OBSESSION, ESCAPE, and MISERY/LONGING.

 

“”

I wanna play this for you all the time

I wanna play this for you when you're feeling used and tired

I wanna make the best of you and more

Just let me in your arms

Just let me in your arms

“”

 

         So clearly she is NOT his girlfriend, or even possibly his lover.  She wants to be “in his arms,” and is not separated by any concrete obstacle beyond that he won’t “let” her.  We touch here that this guy is stressed, or unhappy, as well, and Carly feels he needs her.  Being In Someone’s Arms comes up a lot.  Like, a lot a lot, so let’s mark the subtheme now.

 

“”

Show me if you want me

If I'm all that

I will be that

I will be your friend

“”

 

         On the chorus, which sounds sultry and romantic, Carly is actually just asking this guy to give her any validation, to SHOW her he wants her.  It’s “Do you want me?  Do you want me too?” from “I Really Like You” again.  This guy is not a regular or reliable lover.

 

         The choice of the word “friend” here is weighty, too.  Carly doesn’t even ask THAT much.  She just wants to be his “friend,” the person closest to him.  The one he relies on.  That’s brought back in the second verse:

 

“”

When you need me

I will never let you come apart

When you need me

I will be your candle in the dark

When you need someone

Oh, let me be the one

The only one

And the only one

And the only one

“”

 

         Again it’s implied that this guy is in an unstable or unhappy situation, in need of her.  The guy is In A Bad or Dark Place.  But she has competition for being his only person.  He is not reciprocating in the way she wants; to be not just his “one,” but specifically, “the only one.”

“And the only one.  And the only one.”

 

6 - BOY PROBLEMS

 

         Out of all of Carly Rae’s songs, this is the only one in which she mentions another adult woman who isn’t someone else’s girlfriend or in some way an adversary or competition.  And by “all,” I don’t mean just this album.

 

         I mean literally all of her songs.  Process that for a moment.  This is her only song in which she mentions another adult female human being.  I’ve listened to all of her songs.  This is the only one in which Carly mentions having an adult female friend.  

 

         And that is strange, comparatively. Female pop-stars mention other women, or friends, or even enemies, or even just women as a gender, relatively often.  Taylor Swift’s “Fifteen,” Destiny Child’s “Independent Woman, Pt. 1” Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” Katy Perry’s “California Gurls;” female pop-stars generally have, somewhere, at least one song about women, or friendship.

 

         But Carly is, almost without exception, singing directly to a man, or about a way a man made her feel, framing things to a “you” with other people rarely involved.  Generally the characters that come up in Carly’s song are implied romantic competitors for her love, whom she isn’t interested in, and are the source of the All The Other Boys/Everybody Else Is Second Best trope.

 

         But on “Boy Problems,” another woman enters the scene as an ally, for the first, and only time.

Context here is key.  The way in which she talks about her friend, and the social and emotional situation they’ve found themselves in, is very important.  It’s worth saying, not only is “Boy Problems” a fucking BANGER and one of the best songs on the album, it was my realization about that song fitting into a larger pattern that first opened my eyes to the pervasiveness of the pattern on Emotion, and eventually…

 

         Everything.  Everything.

 

         MISERY/LONGING and of course OBSESSION show their colors in a new way, here, at last commented on by an outside perspective.

 

“”

If you're gonna go then go

She said to me on the phone

So tired of hearin' all your boy problems

If you're gonna stay then stay

He's not gonna change anyway

So tired of hearin' all your boy problems

“”

 

         So here we have Carly talking to a Female Friend on the phone, playing both roles.  The Female Friend, though, has given up on friendly advice and started giving tough love.  These aren’t “Boy Problems” in general, despite the title.

 

         This is a “Boy Problem,” referring to one man, who Carly is locked in a back and forth relationship with that’s gone on long enough that her friend is sick of hearing about it.

 

“”

And I know that she's right

And I should not be offended

That I know what it looks like

From the outside

“”

 

         Carly can’t deny that, from an outside perspective, her choices with this man look openly bad or unhealthy.  He could just be flighty and unreliable.

 

         Or.  Or.  The relationship could be some sort of SECRET.  But that, for now, will remain conjecture.

 

“”

Finally gotta let it go

She said to me on the phone

So tired of hearin' all your boy problems

It could be the perfect day

You'll just make it rain anyway

So tired of hearin' all your boy problems

“”

 

         The “Finally” that starts this lyric is key.  It confirms that it’s not many general problems with boys, but one longstanding issue with one man, who makes Carly so unhappy that she “makes it rain” on “perfect days.”

 

         This ongoing relationship does not fulfill Carly, in fact it makes her unhappy.

 

“”

What's worse?

Losin' a lover or losin' your best friend

What's worse is when you discover

You're not good for each other

She's been giving, you've been taking, taking, taking

“”

 

         This is Carly pondering: if she stays involved with this guy, she stands to lose her relationship with her best friend.  And when she thinks about it, Carly realizes that her poor friend has been dealing with her complaining for a long time, and has been offering support, only for Carly to continuously repeat her mistakes in this complicated relationship.

 

         That part really sticks with me, writing this now, four albums of analysis later.  “Finally gotta let it go.”

 

“Finally gotta let it go.”

 

“Finally.”

 

7 - MAKING THE MOST OF THE NIGHT

 

         In tradition with every song on this album so far, the themes aren’t going to be subtle, here.  Making The Most Of The Night fits evenly into the ESCAPE category, existing synonymously with Run Away With Me, and eventually with the third in the ESCAPE trilogy on EMOTION, Let’s Get Lost.

 

         But we’re not there yet.  So let’s get into this: ESCAPE, SECRETS, TEMPTATION, OBSESSION, with sub-themes of Driving, Getting High, Not Sleeping and A Lover In A Dark Place.

 

         Let’s do this.

 

“”

You and me, we've been hanging around for the longest time

I know when you're down, know what you need to get you high

Top down, like the wind through your hair on a summer's night

Outside, all of your fears, leave them behind

“”

 

         They’ve been “hanging around for the longest time.”  They’re friends, not lovers, and he’s often “down,” but she can make him “high.”  She describes an escape where the fears, or perhaps hesitations, he struggles with, can be left behind.

 

         She’s hopeful for Friends Upgrading To Lovers.

 

         As usual with Carly, this escape is in a car.  Cars and driving play a big role in Jepsen’s music, and this song is totemic of their role as both literal forms of transportation and also metaphorical vehicles of emotion.

 

“”

Baby I'm speeding and red lights are run

What I got you need it, and I'll run to your side

When your heart is bleeding, I'm coming to get you

“”

 

         Carly is speeding and behaving dangerously; the red lights are metaphorical.  Carly is doing things she shouldn’t in order to be with this guy, at his side, to comfort him. She is “coming to get him” and breaking rules to do so.

 

         The idea that their connection is a mistake or forbidden is all but confirmed in the chorus.

 

I know you've had a rough time

Here I've come to hijack you (hijack you), I love you while

Making the most of the night

 

         This guy is miserable, but don’t worry, Carly’s on her way to HIJACK him.  Not just “run away” with him, which she already said would have to be a secret escape no one could know about.  Here, she boldly admits what she really wants:

 

hi·jack

ˈhīˌjak/

         VERB - illegally seize (an aircraft, ship, or vehicle) in transit and force it to go to a different destination or use it for one's own purposes.

 

         This guy, Her Love, is not hers to take.  She wants to steal him away, but even if she hijacks him, they’ll only really have a night together.  His time is limited, for her, even in a hijacking.  The song is just about an ESCAPE from his real life, temporary and limited.

 

         And again, it is a TEMPORARY ESCAPE that HE HAS NOT AGREED TO AND MIGHT NOT EVEN BE INTERESTED IN.  In fact, in the following verse, she directly confirms that he’s not an enthusiastic participant in the hijacking.

 

“”

Baby take my hand now, don't you cry

I won't let you sleep, I won't let you hide

No more tears, don't waste another day

Go on and fight, don't lay down to die

Come on get up, you'll make it through okay

Come on get up, don't waste another day

“”

 

         So let me address the elephant in the room: These lyrics are actually kind of…well, they sound kind of, and I mean this in the nicest way possible: “creepy.”  Again, no sleeping allowed, and also…He can’t hide from her…It’s weird.

 

         Going with her would be a “fight” against whatever else is happening in his life, and she compares him not accepting her to “laying down to die” and “wasting days.”  Going with her, in her mind, is the only thing that can “save” him, (“I’ll be your hero I’m willing” from Run Away With Me) and yet…

 

         That’s just how she sees it.  The guy clearly has doubts about the “hijacking,” and somewhere inside, Carly herself knows that it’s wrong; otherwise why code in the expected resistance so heavily?

 

         And some good reasons for that show up almost immediately on the next track.

8 - YOUR TYPE

 

         Well, shit.

 

         Here we have some themes laid totally bare, with very little pop sparkle around them to hide the brutally sad and frustrated content of the lyrics.  This is what I would come, eventually, in my big stupid Carly adventure, as a KEYSTONE SONG.

 

Ladies and gentlemen: SECRETS, OBSESSION, REJECTION, MISERY, with some ESCAPE for good measure.  And of course, we’ve also got In Your Head, Being Forgotten, Separation by Physical Distance, Apologies, and Regretting Something Said.

 

“”

I used to be in love with you

You used to be the first thing on my mind

I know I'm just a friend to you

That I will never get to call you mine

“”

 

         Lovers Downgrading To Friends.  The word “friend” does seem to be coming up a lot already, doesn’t it?

 

         So like a lot of Carly’s first verses, there’s a bit of self-protection via deception; she’s lying to the audience of one.  Carly claims immediately to be over this guy, and it’s rapidly clarified that the choice wasn’t hers.  He has stepped back their relationship from lovers (?) to friends, and Carly’s love is unwanted.

 

         Yikes, good thing she’s over it, right?  And here’s the chorus, and surprise, she isn’t over it literally at all, even slightly:

 

“”

But I still love you

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I love you

I didn't mean to say what I said

I miss you, I mean it, I tried not to feel it

But I can't get you out of my head

“”

 

         She’s still madly in love with him, and frantically apologizes for what she said, but of course, she misses him, couldn’t erase her powerful feelings, and can’t get him out of her head.

 

And I want you to miss me

When I'm not around you

I know that you're in town

Why won't you come around

To the spot that we met

“”

 

         Again, the clutching, clawing desire that tears her apart: that he would miss her the way she misses him, want her the way she wants him.  And of course, the idea of them being in the same physical location or city.

 

         Also, just as an aside: “I know that you’re in town” fits neatly into the “intense text message” category of Jepsen lyrics.  It also functions as a subtheme of its own; the idea of “knowing someone’s physical location” as a measure of emotional closeness is a near constant in her catalogue.

 

“”

I'm not the type of girl for you

And I'm not going to pretend

That I'm the type of girl you call more than a friend

And I break all the rules for you

Break my heart and start again

I'm not the type of girl you call more than a friend

“”

 

         Well, there we go.  She’s accepted it.  He’s not interested in her.  But then, no, she hasn’t at all, actually. She wants to “break all the rules,” and is WILLING TO HAVE HER HEART BROKEN AND KEEP TRYING, to be with him.

 

         “Breaking all the rules.”  The idea of “running red lights” or being someone’s “sinner in secret” return endlessly, Bad or Forbidden Love…And in this next lyric, we finally find out why:

 

“”

I bet she acts so perfectly

You probably eat up every word she says

And if you ever think of me

I bet I'm just a flicker in your head

“”

 

         This guy has a girlfriend.

 

         I know your first instinct is to perhaps think this girl, the one she’s talking about, is actually a “new” girl, but she clearly isn’t, even within the song.  Trying to be with him was “breaking rules,” and he pushed her away and actively chose someone else over her, very possibly or probably someone he was already with.

 

         This is the first glimmer of this character, Her Lover’s Girlfriend, on the album, but I’d hope we agree that she has been hinted at repeatedly by context clues of the kind of “secret” or “red light” “sinful” love described.

 

         This character will steadily come into clearer and clearer focus as we move backwards through Jepsen’s discography.  By the time we get to the song “I Know You Have A Girlfriend,” I think the theme will be readily apparent.

9 - LET’S GET LOST

 

          This is the third and final entry in the ESCAPE trilogy on EMOTION, and conclusively seals the idea that this scenario, where she runs away with this unavailable guy, is a product solely of her wishes and dreams, rather than an actual planned outing with a lover who wants to go.

 

          It’s interesting how each song approaches the idea, turning it a little each time.  Run Away With Me is her fantasizing about the escape as a mutual endeavor, painting him a picture and asking him to sign on to a sexy weekend of fun with her.  Making The Most Of The Night focuses instead on the emotional side, painting it as a fantasy where she saves him from everything unhappy (and possibly his girlfriend), impulsively “hijacking” him for just one night.

But here on Let’s Get Lost, we have a more honest look at the situation.  Again in the sub-themes, Cars And Driving and Being Shy.  On the macro themes we’re into OBSESSION, TEMPTATION, ESCAPE and SECRETS.

 

“”

I was never one to want to

Put my trust in someone else completely

And I was always one to want to

Up and run when someone said they needed me

“”

 

          She’s always hesitant, but what’s “new” here is that she had trouble being intimate previously.  That’ll be important later.  Worth also to say that this idea of Carly as a hard to please romantically cynical entity will be repeatedly show up as well; on “Higher” off Emotion Side B, Carly sings “I was so cynical before.”

 

         The idea of Carly being disinterested in everyone else to the point that she makes a fuss about it is deeply pervasive in the Carlyverse, so let’s tip a hat to Jepsen’s break out single and call this subtheme All The Other Boys.

 

But you

You could be the one

You could be the one

“”

 

          Notice:  he ISN’T the one but he COULD BE.  Again, she’s asking him, not telling him.  Think of the pop cliche, the romantic trope: “You are the one.”  She doesn’t even say that.  Too dangerous.  It’s a proposal, a proposition.  “This could be how it is.”

 

“”

Baby let's go get lost

I like the way you're drivin' slow

Keeping my fingers crossed

That maybe you'll take the long way home

Let's get lost

“”

 

          Again, the driving metaphor…But this time, the escape isn’t even a real escape.  She’s just sitting there silently hoping this guy takes her somewhere and…What?  Loves her forever?  No, probably not, considering a destination is in sight.  So… Probably hooks up with her?  The “long way home” and “lost” here are revealed as coy misdirections.

 

          She doesn’t want to “get lost.”  She has her fingers crossed he’ll soon allow her to be alone with him. Possibly in a literal car.  Doing alone stuff.  If you know what I’m saying.  And I think you do.

 

          But if you don’t, don’t worry, if you’re confused we’ll hit pretty hard what “alone stuff” entails a few tracks from now on “Warm Blood.”

 

“”

I was always shy and careful

I was sure that you would never look at me

Never wanted to discourage

Everything your eyes encouraged silently

“”

 

          This is huge, because it shows us that a large part of this relationship started with what might’ve just been projecting; “everything your eyes encouraged silently” is a very interesting line.  This guy never stated he was interested romantically (though she feels he did); but up until that point, she had felt shy and careful, trepidatious.  He made her feel special.

 

          And now all she’s wanted for three whole songs is to take the long way home, because she’s too shy ultimately to enact her fantasy of hijacking him to be his sinner in secret.

 

          You could even argue this getaway is the one discussed on EMOTION (“In your fantasy, dream about me, and all that we could do with this emotion”).  The escape is ALWAYS a fantasy, a wish, a dream, a proposal.  Never a reality.

 

          Every song so far in some way involves the theme of wanting someone who is potentially unavailable to her or has already made made clear that they’re not interested.

 

          Are you seeing what I’m saying here?  You don’t need to force the pieces together.  They fit effortlessly. These songs are connected.  Every song on this album is clearly and very specifically thematically linked together.

 

        Every song on every album is connected - Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself.

 

10 - LA HALLUCINATIONS

 

          At first blush, LA Hallucinations doesn’t seem to fit into any of the 7 narrative touchstones we’re pursuing. It appears to be about fame changing Carly herself, about the city of Los Angeles seducing her and turning her towards indulgence.

 

          Except, as is often the case, the illusion of a Pattern-Breaking song is limited to the chorus.

 

          As we’ll see again and again, in the verses themselves, this song is about abandonment by a male friend, lover, or both, and desire to be back in his arms.  This person is presented as a professional peer, so a musician, and a figure from Carly’s youth and early days as an artist, who fame has corrupted.

 

          This is the first time we’ve had ANYTHING like a specific picture painted of the “you” Carly sings to. We haven’t got hair color, eye color, or even mentions of hair or face or skin or items of clothing or places they’ve been together or anything he’s said or even anything he’s done beyond pushing her away in every song.

 

          Instead, behind the cliche indictment of California Materialism, we find a story about TEMPTATION, OBSESSION, REJECTION and SECRETS.

 

“”

I remember being naked

We were young freaks just fresh to L.A

Never cared about the fake kids

We would write and sing and wear whatever

But money makes your whole world spin

Til everything is dizzy and suddenly

“”

 

          In a welcome variation from theme, Carly remembers being “naked,” although contextually it’s unclear if she means literally naked with a guy getting freaky, or metaphorically “naked,” feeling like an outsider “freak” (in a fun way), new to Los Angeles.

 

          This second, less literal interpretation is reenforced by the second lyrics.  She (and a companion), didn’t care what other people thought of them.  Instead, they acted how they wanted, feeling free.

 

          The notion here that they would “write and sing” is important.  It’s the first time this other person is contextualized, they’re a writer, probably of songs, which they then sing with our narrator.

 

          And even more groundbreaking on this album, and worth pointing your attention to, is that this is the first time our narrator is potentially contextualized as Carly Rae Jepsen herself.  This song is a memory of her past; she’s (ostensibly) telling us a story about emotions from her real life.

 

          Think now of the many times you’ve heard pop songs where “generalness” and vagaries are KEY to the lyrics.  Some pop-stars almost never mention themselves as singers at all, and still others assume multiple characters and viewpoints across different songs to sing about different things.

 

          This is not a generalized song about Los Angeles. Which, if at this point there was any doubt, really challenges the idea that all the previous songs on the album have been general; they all felt specific, and Carly establishing a voice here, especially with what she touches on next, is important.

 

“”

Planes I'm hopping

Cards I'm dropping

No shop can fill me up

There's a little black hole in my golden cup so

You pour and I'll say stop

“”

 

          So again, this chorus, in any other song, would just be generalized woe-is-me’ing about how Los Angeles, or more generally “success,” breaks people down into their unpleasant, indulgent forms.  The reference to a “little black hole in her golden cup” could just be the emptiness of material things.

 

          Except, of course, it isn’t, and she’s kind enough to clarify that with the next line.

 

Take me into your arms again

And shake me from L.A. hallucinations

 

          Someone can save Carly; take me into your arms again echoes “just let me in your arms” from All That. She needs to be shaken and woken up from the funk that has taken her; the LA hallucinations.  So there’s Being In Someone’s Arms, for those keeping score.

 

Haven't seen the boy in ages

Used to stay up all night he and I

Filling up each other’s pages

But the teeth come out when the camera flashes

 

          This is where the “into your arms again” becomes apparent; she’s been separated from emotionally and also Separated by Physical Distance from this guy for some time, and he’s been unavailable to her.  Staying up all night spending time, platonic or otherwise, shows up again here.  Staying Up All Night is a constant trend.

 

          “The Teeth Come Out When The Camera Flashes” seems to imply exposure, or fear of exposure, somehow corrupted her former Lover.  And this is confirmed by the next line:

 

We said we'd always be the same

But we lost each other in the game

 

          That’s a wrap up on the relevant lyrics, but I thought I’d include this last bit as part of the building of a meta narrative:

 

“”

Buzzfeed buzzards and TMZ crows

What can I say that you don't already know?

Buzzfeed buzzards and TMZ crows

If I just lie here then will you let me go?

“”

 

          Jepsen implies here, in no uncertain terms, that Buzzfeed and TMZ would be interested in her affairs, most specifically her relationship to the fellow singer/songwriter referred to on this song.  This implies that the guy in question is famous or at least relevant.

 

          This will come back a few times; very notably on the song “Picture” from the Curiosity EP, the idea of a secret relationship with a famous person, as well as on “Black Heart,” and a few other places in less specific terms.  But let’s leave it alone for now.

 

11 - WARM BLOOD

 

          Heyyyy people let’s get sensual, let’s get steamy, let’s get…bummed out?

 

          Warm Blood is easily one of the straight up sexiest songs on the album, and appears at first to be some kind of banging hook up track; it’s an absolutely wonderful make-out song, trust trust.  I mean this is a hot sorta thang going on up in here.

 

          So…When this song is about TEMPTATION, SECRETS, and OBSESSION, and heavily involves being out of control, hesitation, dangerous or forbidden love, and saying things you regret…

 

          Look, are you even going to be surprised at this point?

 

I've got a cavern of secrets

None of them are for you

Even if you wanted to keep them

Where would you find the room?

 

          Carly mentions keeping secrets in a dark or secluded place several other times in her discography, but what’s interesting here is that she’s already coming on to a guy who isn’t interested in keeping her secrets…

 

          …Because he has no “room.”  Implying he can’t keep her secrets…Because he has too many of his own.

 

Let down my guard tonight

I just don't care anymore

I've told a hundred lies

But I don't wanna tell you any at all

 

          Carly has been hiding things, but now will finally be vulnerable and open; she’s been lying, but is finally going to be honest about something she’s been hiding to Her Love.

 

And I cannot control it

The way you're making me feel

And you have got me going

Spinning in circles 'round your warm blood

 

          Again we have a situation where Carly is describing a visceral, sexual, euphoric excitement from an encounter without using any language that implies the other person is actually participating in a real way. Still, she’s trapped, and “spinning in circles.”

 

Warm blood feels good, I can't control it anymore

Sweet one, you should stop me there but I keep on talking

I would throw in the towel for you, boy

Cause you lift me up and catch me when I'm falling for you

 

          So obviously right off the top, talking repeatedly about blood without actually talking about any degree of actual touching or intimacy is a little…I mean let’s just use the word “odd,” but we get a better picture of the situation here in the chorus.

 

          It also sounds like she’s Saying Something She Regrets.

 

          This is not, as it first appeared, a description of a sexual encounter.  This is someone saying something to someone else; Carly telling Her Love something that prompts her to say “you should stop me,” not a terrifically romantic idea, and one that implies that what she’s saying is for some reason inappropriate, secret or rule-breaking in some way.  Bad/Forbidden Love.

 

          She is ready to be with him completely; Carly’s “total emotional availability in comparison to her previous experiences” is a recurring theme, but the “lift me up and catch me when I’m falling for you” is the only mention of physical touch in a song built around a physical sensation, and even there, it seems like a metaphor.

 

          Also, he “lifts her up,” Getting her High.

 

I saw myself tonight

Saw my reflection in the mirror

My hands and heart were tied

But I was scared of almost nothing at all

 

          This verse is fascinating to me.  The idea of seeing yourself in the mirror, or someone interacting with your reflection, will come back much later in our exploration, but much earlier in her career.

 

          Carly sees herself clearly for the first time; though her hands and heart are “tied,” presumably by the rules of the situation, but she’s no longer scared of potential repercussions.  “Warm blood feels good.”  Even though she has no guarantee it will be reciprocated.

 

12 - WHEN I NEEDED YOU

 

          “When I Needed You” sounds like a break up song.  Indeed, your brain processes it as a break-up song when you first hear it, even though nothing in the song makes it that other than one sentence in the chorus.  “When I Needed You” sounds big and fun and silly; Carly sings it like it’s some wild grandchild of Cyndi Lauper, all sparkly energy.

 

          Even the chorus, with the “You-oo-oo,” sounds exuberant and happy.  What’s remarkable about this, why I am remarking about it and trying to build some level of suspense, is that this song is the polar opposite of a break-up song.  It is a BROKEN song.

 

          Whatever the opposite of Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable is,” this is it.  Focusing on themes of OBSESSION, SECRETS and REJECTION, the lyrics of When I Needed You read less like a pop ballad and more like a letter written in blood, tied to a brick and hurled through a window.

 

“”

What if we could go back?

We could take the words back

You could take my love back

And brush my hair behind my ear

“”

 

          We open with Carly fantasizing about rewinding time, to before she Said Something She Regrets. Because of course.

 

           She wishes he could take back the love he rejected, but intriguingly, the physical demonstration of love Carly asks for, the hair behind the ear, can really only loosely considered truly intimate.

 

“”

I don't know what you wanted

I tried to be so perfect

I thought that it was worth it

To let myself just disappear

 

          This lyric is as out and out of a bummer as we’ve had on this album, even rivaling the loneliness and desolation of “Your Type.”  Carly had no idea how to be with this guy, and was frantic for him to want her, and thought it was worth abandoning all of her ideas about her own identity to be considered “perfect” for him.

 

          Again we’re at one of those weird junctures where I don’t have to add literally any degree of analysis to see what the line means.  She was down to sacrifice her ego and ideas of self in a frantic desire to be considered perfect by a man who didn’t want her.  That’s…I mean that’s right there.

 

          Carly (and her songwriters) are often wonderfully talented at fitting a huge amount of raw meaning into a short burst of lyrics with literally zero fluff.

 

“”

You come to me in dreams at night

I wake up and I see the light

“”

 

          More Dream stuff, here.  She used to fantasize about this guy, but now she’s straight up haunted by him, and her decisions.  Again, Carly’s powerlessness in the relationship is key, and comes to a head in the chorus.

 

          Brace yourself.  Shit is about to get real.

 

Sometimes I wish that I could change

But not for me, for you

So we could be together, forever

But I know, I know that I won't change for you

Cause where were you for me

When I needed someone?

When I needed someone?

When I needed you?

 

           I mean fuck that’s a lot to unpack.  That’s a LOT to unpack.

 

          Carly, long ago rejected and abandoned by Her Love, still fantasizes about being able to abandon her identity, but not for her, for him, so he’d finally love her, but she knows that won’t happen, because he doesn’t love her, and never ever will.

 

          That’s the chorus of a pop song.  I mean holy shit.  She sings that in a happy voice.  Those lyrics look like something an angry ghost would scratch into a wall.

 

Once upon a time I

Thought you were the hero

I waited for you all night

I closed my eyes and slept for years

 

          Back in the day, Carly idolized this guy.  She was hoping he’d come over and see her; she stayed up all night (checking that Staying Up All Night box), closed her eyes and for the first time on the album appears to actually sleep…

 

          …But that might just be a metaphor.

 

You kissed me like a sunrise

I feel it through my forehead

I felt it like a goodbye

I'm not myself

          So he kissed her!  FINALLY!  HE KISSED HER, HE- oh wait, it was ON THE FOREHEAD.  The oddly platonic vibe of brushing her hair behind her ear from the opening verse seems clear, here; she waited for this guy all night (literally or metaphorically), and all she got was a (literal or metaphorical) kiss on the forehead that felt like a goodbye.

 

          And somehow, she’s still wishing she could “change” for him.

 

          That last line, “I’m not myself,” is not clipped off, either.  That’s honest to goodness the last real lyric of the song.  Just a rhymeless, little bleat of sadness.

 

I’m not myself.

 

          It’s heartbreaking.

13 - BLACK HEART

 

          Black Heart is, again, Carly singing about herself as a dangerous outsider to a man she desperately wants; a relationship between them forbidden by circumstance.  This time, she appeals to his worst nature, trying to get him to admit, in his darkest moments, it’s her she wants.

 

          Again we focus on TEMPTATION, SECRETS, OBSESSION and REJECTION, and again crying, or specifically crying, and Dreams feature prominently.  What’s interesting here is a subtler clue; this song could be about anyone, but a single lyric thrown in near the end suddenly makes it appealingly specific.

 

I don't care about your good intentions

I care more about your bad dreams

I want a love on a new dimension

 

          We start with what at this point should be a familiar request; Carly wants this guy to break the rules for her, tossing aside his “good intentions,” and instead wants him to act on his darkest impulses, and fantasies, to give her love on a new dimension.

 

In your black heart, is where you'll find me

Cutting through the cracks of the concrete

In your black heart, is where you'll find me

Waiting, oh

 

           As always, we run into the implication that this is a man Carly DOESN’T HAVE ACCESS TO, outside of his “bad dreams;” she’s waiting in his “Black Heart,” waiting for him to make an immoral or rule breaking choice, and she will be “waiting.

 

          She wants him to give in to her, again presenting being with her as a somehow dark or evil choice.  But this next line seals it.

 

You think love is a destination

Like a show on your TV

You'll cry to your generation

But don't you cry to me

 

          There it is.  This hits a major clue towards the meta-narrative.  So first of all, this refusal to Cry will come back on the song “Cry” off Emotion Side B, and Black Heart has an actual full on sequel song, “Roses,” also on Emotion.

 

          “You’ll cry to your generation, but you don’t cry to me.”  The notion of a man who won’t cry or be vulnerable with her makes an appearance here, and will resurface in no uncertain terms, again and again, but did you catch the overall image?  Because let’s not let it slip by.

 

          This man has a public voice, he has a platform to speak to his generation, but won’t open up to Carly. So he’s someone important, or famous.

 

          It’s subtle, but an easy and obvious connection could be drawn to the same singer/songwriter  who became emotionally unavailable to her once he became successful that she described on LA HALLUCINATIONS.  

 

          The same friend-turned-lover haunted by Buzzfeed Buzzards and TMZ Crows.

Needless to say, this is not the last we’ll be hearing of this guy.

14 - DIDN’T JUST COME HERE TO DANCE

 

          This catchy dance track, ripe for remixing, also represents a crystallization of themes; in many ways, you’d expect a song with “dance” in the title to be about dancing, in some way, but no, Carly is on a very specific mission, and it’s…

 

          Kind of a stalker mission.

 

          Namely that there’s a forbidden relationship with a man that Carly initially resisted, but has now given in to, and rejects other men for, and has pursued to the club.  Impressively, we hit TEMPTATION, OBSESSION, REJECTION, as well as sub-themes like Partying With An Ulterior Motive and All The Other Boys.

 

I didn't just come here to dance

If you know what I mean

Do you know what I mean

If you just give me a chance

You'd see what I see

Do you see what I see

It's your fault, baby boy cause you're the one that sparked this

Shine a light, with your eyes into me in the darkness

 

          Carly has gone to a nightclub, or perhaps a party.  Maybe even the same party she was sick of on “Run Away With Me,” because her modus operandi is exactly the same.

 

          She’s not there to have fun; she’s on a specific mission, which is to meet a specific man, who has both tempted her and resisted her.  He’s the one that “sparked this,” but now she is taking initiative.  There’s something blocking an easy road to romance, but she wants a “chance.”  She’s taking a risk on this.  Sound familiar yet?

 

          Also look at the usage of the word “fault.”  It’s his “fault” for making her attracted to him, so right off the top her pursuit him is being contextualized as dangerous.

 

Hey Joe's calling me over

Tino's calling me over

I only came here for you

It's you boy, you in the corner

Something is taking me over

I only came here for you

 

          The return of the All The Other Boys that try to chase me subtheme from Call Me Maybe.  She rejects men romantically interested in her, who here are given names, in favor of pursuing a man who, though tempting, is for some reason off limits, hesitant, or forbidden.  She came to “get” him.

 

          Interestingly, a person being in the corner at a party where you were waiting to meet someone comes back on “Curiosity,” off the KISS album.

 

15 - FAVOURITE COLOR

 

          Easily the most romantic and sentimental track on EMOTION, Favourite Colour, on a casual listen, is a straightforward romantic ballad.  It’s beautiful, and emotional.  I cry sometimes when I listen to it while thinking about an ex.  It’s powerful emotional imagery, the idea of blending into a single color is powerfully evocative and sensual.

 

          So it’s a straight up love song, right?

 

          Nope.  Right up until you start looking for the themes, whereupon they smack you in the face. TEMPTATION and LIMERENCE form our backbone themes, with subtheme name-drops of “out of control,” Hesitation, and Vaguely Sexual Acts Given Huge Emotional Importance.

 

          Let’s take a look.

 

Hold on now

This is gettin' kinda serious

This is gettin' kinda out of control

Out of control

Slow down now

Breathin' heavy when it's just a kiss

This is gettin' kinda out of my hands

Out of my hands

 

          Things take a distinctly sexual flavor in the opening lyrics; she’s breathing heavy just from making out, as she details later in the song.  As is inevitable tradition, Carly characterizes this sexual/romantic choice as out of “control,” and out of her hands, and as always, romance is played as a risky, potentially chaotic and dangerous choice.

 

          And though they’re feeling the rush, the guy isn’t sure about this:

 

Please don't go

 

          Dude is thinking about leaving.  And a few lyrics later, Carly is having her own second thoughts:

 

Should I stay?

Making love until the morning light

Making out like it's the end of the world

And I really wanna get it right

 

          And again here, this sexual act is equated to an act of risk or insanity, that is potentially, like on I Really Like You, possibly not actual love, but something more like infatuation.  It should also be clear, the “Should I stay?” contextualizes the Staying Up All Night sex-session as a POSSIBILITY, rather than an event that’s actually happening.

 

          The making out like it’s the end of the world lyric is amazing, but again, just a possibility of what COULD happen, as contextualized by the “But” at the beginning of the next lyric:

 

But it's gettin' hard to slow down

Got me feelin' like it's real for sure

This is gettin' kinda out of my head

I'm out of my head

 

          This focus on the risk of the situation, the thrill of limerence in finding someone you sexually connect to even though it’s maybe not a good idea, is the entire backbone of the song.  “Please Don’t Go” is repeated twice as a bridge into the chorus; his emotions for her, his love for her, don’t really play into the song at all.

 

          As always, the guy is not as into it as she is.

 

          It’s a flashback to the sexual feelings described in Warm Blood.  She can’t control it.  “Stop me but I keep on talking.”  “Should I stay?”  And of course the frantic desire for him to stay until “the morning light.”  Which becomes relevant in exactly one track because next up is…

 

16 - NEVER GET TO HOLD YOU

 

          This is as blatant a repetition of the theme we’re going to get, outside of Your Type.  We’re one song away from finishing this album, and if I haven’t proven my point by now, I feel like this song is built to deliberately beat you over the head with the themes.

 

          Here’s your hot entree of OBSESSION, TEMPTATION, REJECTION and MISERY, with a side of Saying Something You Regret, Romantic Hesitation, Staying Up All Night, Being Miserable/Lost Or Depressed, and how could I forget, Being In Someone’s Arms And That Solving The Fact That You’re Miserable That They Don’t Want You.

 

          And we get right into it, too.

 

Oh baby don't you go

You know I didn't mean it darling

Sweet like the morning light

Gone late into the evening

All I want is to hold you

Make you rock away this feeling for me

Oh baby don't you go

You know I didn't mean it

 

          Carly has again here said something she regrets saying, and the bulk of the song is essentially begging him to stay, expressing that he’s the only person who can heal the wound inside her.  Of course, the wound inside her appears to be solely created by her own love for him.  So she’s asking him essentially to “stop not loving me, get over here and give me a cuddle.”

 

          Which is a pretty wild request.

 

Until I saw you in my thunderstorm

I didn't see

I wanna be the one that's in your arms

 

          Carly again positions this man as an answer to her emotional problems, the idea that she was In A Bad Or Dark Place before she met him, and he is now, in her mind, positioned as the answer to the bad and hopeless emotional situation she’d been in prior, described here as a “thunderstorm.”

 

I never get to hold you

As long I want to

Remember I told you

You're all that I need

You're all that I need

I never get to hold you

As long I want to

Remember I told you

You're all that I need

You're all that I need

 

          The chorus says it all.  She wants to be in his arms but he is unavailable.  He’s the answer to the emotional problems in her life, but, either because of something she said or an outside factor, he is never going to be hers completely.

 

17 - LOVE AGAIN

 

          For the umpteenth time, here we focus on the emotions of a doomed relationship. Themes of “black,” darkness and night return.  This time, Carly sings to herself, trying to cheer herself up, as well as to her former lover; the “you” serves two purposes.

 

          The title of this song itself is a trick; it seems like she’s trying to get over someone and love someone else, but really she’s primarily talking about…Well, I’ll let the song explain.

This one is all REJECTION, MISERY and OBSESSION.

 

Open up your heart to the ceiling

Don't you know it hurts for a reason

Time will take you back to believing

You'll learn to love again

You'll learn to love again

 

          Love is tied in to physical pain; the loss of love after a doomed romance has left her hopeless.  She reassures herself: she will learn to love again.

 

Life, is enough to cry

It's a lot to give and it's driving me crazy

 

          Unlike Britney Spears’ “crazy,” on her song Crazy, which was fun and sexy, but “feels alright,” Carly Rae’s “crazy” is almost always associated with a regretful decision and a state of “out of control” behavior that very possibly, or definitely, will end in tragedy.

 

Moon, where's the man in you

Show the way to us

The sky is turning black now

Moon, what you trying to do

It's too late for us and there's no turning back now

 

          She’s looking to the stars; there must be a way back to love for Carly and this forbidden figure.  But alas, it’s looking bad; like her heart, the sky is turning black.  Roses will also turn black, on the song “Roses” off Emotion Side B, but we got a long way before we get there.

 

I never meant to fight with you

I wanted us to stay together

And even now my love is true

I know that we can't be together

 

          This “fight” could very well be the instance she keeps insisting she regrets saying, but what’s more telling is the rhyme; “together” with “together,” but contextualized two different ways.  She wanted them to “stay together” but she knows that they can’t “be together.”  Meaning she wanted them to “stay physically together/around each other,” like as friends, but knows that even though she loves him, they can’t “be together” in that way.

 

          She needs to get over it, and “learn to love again.”

 

          Because though she wanted them to “stay together,” she knows they can’t “BE together.”

Something keeps this man from her.

 

          The idea of going “through the ceiling” will return again on her songs “In My Bedroom,” where the moon also plays a prominent role, and “Cut To The Feeling,” where again, they go up into the sky to be together.

 

          And that’s the last song on the album.