Carly Rae Jepsen is back and if you haven’t heard, she really, really, really, really, really, really likes you. The Canadian songstress behind the summer 2012 anthem “Call Me Maybe” has returned with the relentlessly catchy and aptly-named, “I Really Like You”—an announcement that another Canadian pop star by the name of Justin Bieber tweeted out to his 61 million followers (Jepsen is signed with Bieber’s manager/Svengali, Scooter Braun):
The premise of her new single is essentially that stage in a relationship when the feelings are definitely there, but it’s too early to say those three magical words for fear of freaking the other person out. So naturally, the word “really” is just repeated over and over before the less-committal “like.” It’s only a matter of days before DJs at gay clubs are blasting “I Really Like You” on dance floors all across America (Reminder: Jepsen is a huge LGBT rights advocate).
Can Jepsen make a comeback when so many other one-hit pop wonders have failed to do the same? We never heard the likes of the Baha Men again after the dogs were let out. And Nine Days’ story about a girl who cried a river and drowned the world seems to have been their last. So what makes CRJ different?
Here’s the crash course on CRJ. The 29-year-old placed third in 2007 on Season Five of Canadian Idol. She was majorly off everyone’s radar until she took the world by storm with “Call Me Maybe, ” which garnered her massive fame and two Grammy nominations. The music video has racked up over 650 million views on YouTube and inspired a myriad of spoofs from its legions of fans, including U.S. Marines in Afghanistan.
Technically, Jepsen isn’t a one-hit wonder artist. Yes, “Call Me Maybe” was massive. But “Good Time,” her collaboration with synth-using, electronica-inspired Owl City, was another feel-good tune that climbed to the top of the charts. And her 2012 album Kiss left critics a bit confused but is supremely underrated. Much of Kiss was similar in spirit and tone to “Call Me Maybe,” boasting ’80s beats, Jepsen’s sugary voice, and a super-sized serving of positivity. It’s a timeline of teen love, from first flirtations to fiery passion to post-breakup healing. There was even a remix of her single “Tonight I’m Getting Over You” that features Nicki Minaj and everybody loves a rapping verse from Queen Nicki.
If anything, the “Call Me Maybe” explosion was so colossal that it drowned out Jepsen’s other achievements. It’s hard to pay attention to her additional stuff when that infectious hook has been jackhammered into your skull. But almost three years later, people have finally recovered from the viral epidemic of “Call Me Maybe,” and may finally be ready for another serving of Jepsen.
Some critics doubted Katy Perry’s viability as a pop star past her 2008 “I Kissed A Girl” phase. Rolling Stone gave her One Of The Boys album a disastrous two out of five stars. Seven years later, she’s—with the help of a dancing shark—stealing the night with a crazy Super Bowl halftime show and is one of the world’s premier pop divas.
But Perry’s survival is largely thanks to her constant evolution. She dumped the “I Kissed A Girl” persona and brought us Teenage Dream in 2010—a flurry of disco-infused fun with “California Gurls” and “Firework.” Then, after that whole Russell Brand fiasco, she rose from the ashes with Prism.
Reinvention has kept Perry afloat. Meanwhile, Jepsen’s “I Really Like You” sounds very familiar in all the right ways. For the cheery Jepsen, sticking to what she knows best may, in the short term, be the right move—inspiring flashbacks of summer day sing-alongs.
And the fact that so many outlets—and millions of Beliebers—are abuzz with the pop singer’s possible return from the bowels of pop irrelevancy is proof enough that the “Call Me Maybe” singer has the potential to dominate the Hot 100 once more. Now we just have to anxiously wait for that crazy music video with Tom Hanks and Justin Bieber.