By Rebecca Sirull, inside columnist
Sept. 20, 2011 is a day that will live in musical infamy. On that unassuming Tuesday, young singer-songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen introduced the world to the phenomenon that was “Call Me Maybe” and forever altered the course of (web browser) history.
The song went through the classic stages of a pop hit. First, there was exposure: you turned on the radio one day and heard the new jam, thought it was mildly catchy, then carried on with your day. Next, obsession: the song had caught hold of your brain and every thought was set to the soundtrack of that one beat. No matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t get the song out of your head and, before you knew it, your play count had reached triple digits. After that came doubt: as with any popular song, there are bound to be those who refuse to acknowledge its star quality and try to bring others down with them, spreading unnecessary vitriol against those who are just trying to enjoy the next great achievement in lyricism. Finally, acceptance: everyone agreed that the song was here to stay, whether you likd it or not, and even the haters could be seen mouthing along to every word in their rear-view mirrors.
But then “Call Me Maybe” went even further: It became the secret weapon used by DJs to reinvigorate any dance floor. It inspired countless parody videos, lipsyncs and publicity stunts. Facebook newsfeeds became nearly impossible to scroll through without at least one mention of the song. It was more than just a meme – It became a legend. And all thanks to one 26-year-old Canadian with a guitar and a dream. Now, our girl Carly is back and ready to make waves once again with her latest hit “I Really Like You.”
While some may write the song off as just another empty pop tune, a closer look shows that we can actually learn a lot from Jepsen.
She starts us off with something simple and relatable: “I really wanna stop / But I just gotta taste for it.” This sentence perfectly encapsulates my emotions every time I try to eat just one Oreo. I tell myself it’s not good for me, that I don’t need it, but the memories of chemically enhanced semi-chocolate and sort-of cream tell me otherwise. And on another level, Jepsen could be referencing the addictive nature of her first viral hit. Girl is just so deep.
Another incredibly relatable moment comes when she hits us with this: “Late night watching television / But how we get in this position?” Really, who hasn’t been here? It’s a Wednesday night and you have no early classes the next day, so you decide it’s time to finally catch up on whatever TV show your friends are raving about. Suddenly, it’s 3 a.m. and you’ve gone from comfortably seated on the couch like a normal person to curled up pretzel-style on the floor with your head resting on a box of Cheez-Its. The only real question here is: who is this “we” she’s referring to? Unless she means you and your remote.
A little bit later we get: “I’m so in my head / When we’re out of touch,” clearly a social commentary on our interdependence as human beings. If only we could learn to be more like Jepsen and spend some time with our own thoughts.
Then: “Who gave you eyes like that? / Said you could keep them.” Seriously, I need those back.
And of course, the chorus. Pure innovation. Jepsen knows the exact number of times she needs to say “really” to convey exactly how much she likes this person. Just five wouldn’t be enough, seven is overkill, but six is perfect. This was a true wake-up call for me. I immediately called up my boyfriend and gently explained that while I did like him, I just didn’t really, really, really, really, really, really like him, so it was over between us. Thanks Car.
While this one will be hard to top, I’m confident that we’re still nowhere near reaching the limits of Carly Rae Jepsen’s potential. In the mean time, I’m going to sit in my room and play “I Really Like You” on repeat, and I recommend that you do the same.
-Rebecca Sirull can be reached at Inside@HuntNewsNU.com.
Photo courtesy Georges Biard, Creative Commons