The Loveliest Time

The Loveliest Time

Throughout human history, the two most reliable motivations for making art have been revenge and infatuation. Carly Rae Jepsen has written hundreds, if not thousands, of aching synth-pop bangers dedicated to the latter, a body of work devoted rigorously to The Crush—crush as a means of transformation, crush as a psychedelic experience, crush as a night drive on a dark highway with the wind in your hair. “Do you really think this is a good idea?” a man’s voice asks as an engine revs on “So Right,” to which Jepsen replies, “I mean, no, probably not, but...” Moments like this lend a magic crackle of electricity to the air on The Loveliest Time, a B-side companion piece to 2022’s The Loneliest Time, as has been the Canadian songwriter’s custom since 2015’s Emotion. But where its predecessor highlighted the ways a crush can flourish in solitude, The Loveliest Time dives headfirst back into new love and all the wonderfully messy feelings that come with it. And this time around, the sounds of chill-out lounges occasionally slink in next to the sparkly disco numbers—like “Aeroplanes,” where Jepsen flirts with downtempo shuffle as she pledges to a diamond in the rough that she would “fly airplanes in the ocean for your touch.” “Shy Boy” plays it a tad cooler, a crush-drunk ’90s pop strutter on which she ever-so-coyly offers, “I put you on my list, so come downtown.” It’s a full buffet of love—stadium-sized love, weekend love, and the kind of love on “Psychedelic Switch,” Jepsen’s take on Daft Punk-y house euphoria.

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