EP REVIEW: Carly Rae Jepsen – Dedicated Side B

In 2016 Carly Rae Jepsen surprised fans by releasing eight tracks that didn’t make it onto her highly acclaimed third studio album ‘Emotion’, and poignantly titled it ‘Emotion Side B’. The reaction to the songs was huge with people praising just how strong the collection was and how great it was to celebrate the first anniversary of the album by giving fans something a little more. 

So following the release of her fourth studio album ‘Dedicated’, people started questioning if she was going to give this album the same treatment, and to their excitement, she did. 

However ‘Dedicated Side B’ isn’t really a EP as such. Instead it’s a fully fledged album with 12 brand new songs. And to think that these songs were left on the cutting room floor is crazy because most of them don’t feel like b-sides at all. They are individually strong tracks that could’ve easily found a place on the original record, minus a few mediocre ones. 

Opening with ‘This Love Isn’t Crazy’, this pulsating synth-pop track is the immediate perfect choice as a lead single because it’s catchy, playful and genuinely just makes you feel good. Following in its footsteps is ‘Summer Love’ which has been a song fans have been wanting her to release, and it’s quite literally a summer anthem.

But the song that immediately stands out is the 80’s-tastic ‘Stay Away’. It’s a larger than life arena-ready pop song that explodes with infatuation. “If my love’s too strong for you, walk away. But I can’t make this wrong when I see your face. My home is your body, how can I stay away?” she sings during the huge hook. 

What is really interesting about this track is that the previous track ‘Felt This Way’ is another interpretation of the song idea with some similar lyrics intertwining between the two. It’s a really interesting insight to songwriting and how a song idea can be used multiple times until they find the right angle. And while they are about the same topic, they are at opposite end of the emotional spectrum. 

While there is a lot of straight up synth-pop tracks, there are some other rhythmically charged sonics like ‘Window’, ‘This Is What They Say’ and ‘Heartbeat’ representing that more alternative pop side to her artistry.  

‘Comeback’ featuring Bleachers is the song that everyone needs to hear to remind them to always put themselves first. Its a self-empowerment anthem that is full of heart and high emotions as she reflects on a toxic relationship. “I don’t know what I’m feeling, but I believe. I was thinking ’bout making a comeback, back to me”. The moody pop production adds to the whole atmosphere of the song and will have you immediately in your feelings. 

From start to finish, ‘Dedicated Side B’ is a very enjoyable listen with some really strong tracks that showcase the many different sides to her artistry. However there are some b-side type of tracks that could’ve been taken off the track listing to make it a little more compact as 12 songs is like a full new album.