Lazy rascals, spending their substance, and more, in riotous living

The Official Chart of 2015, part 3: Favourites

Be tormented by me babe.

Album of the Year: Carly Rae Jepsen’s Emotion. Probably my favourite thing about pop music is how it takes emotions and painstakingly reconstructs them as artifice, like a jeweller cutting a lump of feelings into a sparkling gem, or a surgeon dissecting you and building you a more glorious body. That’s what Emotion does. When I first heard the album, although I liked it well enough I wouldn’t have thought it would end up being being my favourite album of the year. But it’s put together with such machine-tooled precision, I’ve come back to it again and again. The lyrics are full of gems: “who gave you eyes like that / said you could keep them” (the tumblr structure of feeling in two lines); “I still love you / I’m sorry / I’m sorry / I love you“; “I don’t want to work it out / I’m not going to work it out.” There are millions of brilliant production choices; one I particularly like is how the fuzzy multitracking of Jepsen’s voice in the verses of “Favourite Colour” snaps into focus in the chorus. And Jepsen’s vocals aren’t showy but are precise: that little catch as she stretches “revelation” over an extra syllable in “I Really Like You,” or the flip from slightly forced flirtatiousness to slightly too open insecurity in the gap between the two lines “if you know what I mean / do you know what I mean.” Read more↴