Her fourth studio album, Dedicated, comes almost four years after its predecessor and thrills with the confidence of a popstar comfortable with who she is.The self-assurance Dedicated exudes as a whole is, however, deceptive. Jepsen discarded almost 200 songs in a lengthy process of whittling down the final tracklist, a clear tell that the 33-year-old Canadian star could be anybody she wanted on a whim. Who she settles upon is a satisfying maturation of that which she first carved out on Emotion.
Dedicated opens with Julien, setting the tone for a Robyn-esque journey blessed with shiny production and funk-based bop-ability which harks back to Kylie’s easy-to-consume Kiss Me Once and conjures the artistic authenticity and electropop joy of Little Boots.
Jepsen’s pop raison d’être, serving up the rollercoaster of love’s agony and ecstasy, is evident in every track as she trips merrily along with her now well-established propensity for searingly honest yet cheerful narratives.
Winding through spacey vocals and funky bass on No Drug Like Me into festival banger in the making Now That I Found You — complete with a chorus destined for synchronised jumping — the album arrives at Want You In My Room
Here, the sheen of Jepsen’s innocence is at odds with lusty longing as she chirps: “I wanna do bad things to you / Baby don’t you want me to?” It doesn’t really sound like she means it.
More convincing is Everything He Needs, which marks Dedicated’s turn for the sexy.
The pristine gloss falls away to reveal something more serious, the first of a handful of more considered songs which dominate the middle section.
Blondie influences drench ode to new wave I’ll Be Your Girl, a twinkle in Jepsen’s eye as she throws a lightly tongue-in-cheek saxophone solo on the end, before the album slows back down, plunging into a period of contemplation where musings on love swap some of her sunniness for a tang of self-doubt.
Penultimate track, For Sure, documents heartbreak with a combination of insecurity and defiance before Jepsen rounds off with previously released single, Party For One.
Middle finger in the air, the prolific songwriter dusts herself off from a break-up assertively to reinstate her self-love and her eternal, irrepressible hopefulness.