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KILL or KEEP Vol.3

Carly Rae Jepsen – Emotion

Welcome back once again to KILL or KEEP, where we take a classic album that everyone knows but not everyone loves, and run it through a set of users with conflicting takes. They will jam the album for public entertainment and post their hot takes for all to see.

Except this time it is different.

It is time for change. It is time for an album that, perhaps, everyone does love. The last two installments in the series were directed at bloated capital–penis-shaped–M Masterpieces by men with huge egos and poor evaluations of the limitations of their talents.

This must be the opposite.

 We will examine a female songwriter whose attention is entirely occupied with relatable subject matter, whose songwriting models is excessive in its leanness, whose sound has been diluted to the perfect vanilla average by wave upon wave of unseen collaborators. We turn now to true greatness. It is time for Carly Rey Jepsen.

Carly Rae Jepsen

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Some would say that it is always time for Carly Rae Jepsen; we respectfully counter that now is the time for specifically KILLing and KEEPing her lauded sugaropus Emotion, by which we mean both Side A and Side B. That’s 20 tracks: primo K/K territory (but no bonus tracks because we don’t have that time)!

We have read our sources and done our homework, and our mission is chiefly informed by these two statements:

  1. In the words of the great granitenotebook, from when Emotion swung in at a respectable 17th place on the site’s user-voter best-of-the-decade list, if your standard assumption is that music sung by women with synthesizers is bad, you need to open your mind and stop being a sexist asshole.
  1. In the words of the disgraced but no less compelling creepy screenwriter/media guy Max Landis in his dossier-sized conspiracy theory about the album’s actually quite dark lyrical fixations, Despite the bright and shiny music, EMOTION is not what it seems. Ominous indeed.

Hell-bent on challenging semblances and assumptions wherever they arise (and also on appreciating synthesizers when appropriate), a crack squad has stepped up for the occasion. Please welcome: garas, johnnyoftheWell and Pheromone!

Starting Impressions

Each participant, please explain your attitude going into and/or prior experience with Emotion Sides A and B and/or intentions for this exercise.

Pheromone: So, I am sitting at the bottom floor room in Brighton student housing. The room watches out to a fairly busy road, cars come past every second. It is loud. This time, however, I have my headphones on to start (I usually forget this step). I have a coffee. I have only listened to EMOTION in little bits and pieces to catch a drift of the hype. I have no opinion yet. However, I always loved the idea of mid 30 year old music loving geezers at a Jepsen concert. 5/5 expected.

JohnnyoftheWell: I love Emotion – the first side, anyway! It wasn’t the best pop album of the last decade, but I’m glad there’s consensus that puts it there; it’s clingy sugar pop done just right and that is Good Enough! Will I KILL a few tracks? Absolutely? Is it by far the best album we’ve covered so far in this sick series? Without a doubt. Have I done my homework and heard Side-B before? Uh…

garas: Taken from the meme: “I don’t know who I am… I don’t know why I am here… all I know is that I must KILL.” Seriously, I have literally zero expectations. This could be either a quite fun run, or an endless torture and hopeless misery, so we’ll see! (Grumpy noises.)

Rules

Each participant must KILL and KEEP a minimum of three songs. Because Emotion is the best album we have heard so far in this series, there are new challenge rules for this round:

  1. Every time a participant KEEPs a song, they must KILL a band active in the 60s, 70s or 80s.
  2. Every time a participant KILLs a song, they must name a pop artist active in any any year from 2010 onwards who they would rather be listening to.
  3. No artists may be reused from song to song!

Let’s start the album!

 

(1) Run Away With Me

Pheromone: Lol I did not expect synth straight away. Oh I know this song.

JohnnyoftheWell: Omg me too. […] People adore this chorus. Like, everyone adores this chorus. Is it that great?

Pheromone: Yeah I like the synth.

JohnnyoftheWell: She is a talented synthesiser

Pheromone: Does she synth herself? Is she outsourcing synth?

JohnnyoftheWell: Lemme just copypaste this album’s credits [redacted: extremely extensive textdump of very very many talented synthesisers and other producers]

Pheromone: I actually know so little about the hype this garnered, after reading that [Jepsen Pattern] conspiracy I super want to read the lyrics.

JohnnyoftheWell: Yeah, I mostly ignored the initial hype and got the end-of-decade payoff from it.

Pheromone: In 2018, NPR ranked this as the #161 greatest song by a female or nonbinary artist in the 21st century – apparently we have 161 songs to pick from. Jesus. Fair enough, it sounds good.

JohnnyoftheWell: What was 162?

Pheromone: Checking […] Still checking, fuck this NPR site […] “162. Cristina Pato, “Muiñeira for Cristina” (2013)”.

JohnnyoftheWell: Cristina Pato. A lost trooper.

Pheromone: I actually don’t know who that is.

JohnnyoftheWell: Neither.

Pheromone: I really liked that. I actually really hated it when I listened to it for the first time in a car with a pal bcos I didn’t get it. Now I get it. Brighton car life better, opening cool KEEP it and KILL The Jesus and Mary Chain

JohnnyoftheWell: I think this one is kinda overrated and certainly wouldn’t make it to #161 on my list of greatest female of nonbinary 21st songthings, but it’s still a solid opener so I will KEEP it and KILL Slayer.

garas: *shakes his head* I’d rather listen to even the worst of Slayer instead of this, to be honest. However, this song was painless – I cannot highlight anything out I could hate. It was predictable in every aspect: a bit slow start with an interesting synth sound showing the first bits of the main melody, followed by a short part which connects the chorus to it. It is a basic spell, but it does the job. So, uh, I will KEEP this – and by that, I want to erase [KILL] Paul McCartney’s solo band.

(2) Emotion

Pheromone: She says the word emotion.

JohnnyoftheWell: What is 10ft tall an allusion to?

Pheromone: What is 10ft tall an allusion to? Oh. You are a teacher. Teach me.

JohnnyoftheWell: Idk, how tall is Carly Rae?

Pheromone: Dude’s a giant. It’s two kids in a long jacket on top of each other.

JohnnyoftheWell: She’s not 10ft is she? No, that’s huge.

Pheromone: She is in love. It is forbidden.

Johnny: Maybe it is about the mismatch between expectation and reality. Shadowplay. Forbidden love. Illusion.

Pheromone: Wow Johnny mate, er go back. Pause, actually. I accidentally had my Spotify on shuffle ffs. I was listening to L.A. Hallucinations.

JohnnyoftheWell: Max Landis says – oh ok, I paused.

Pheromone: Okay I will listen to the t/t now.

JohnnyoftheWell: Okay I will replay the t/t. I like that we were still on the same page even though we were listening to different songs. Says a lot for the continuity of this here concept album.

[replay]

JohnnyoftheWell: Max Landis says When she was with this guy, she was Shy, a wallflower.  This is going to come back up a billion more times; in the time since the relationship with Her Former Lover has ended, Carly has blossomed.  And now…

Pheromone: Hahah what does wallflower mean, is it an American colloquial?

JohnnyoftheWell: It means her shadow is on the wall.

Pheromone: Oh so she was GROWING ten feet tall.

JohnnyoftheWell: Yeah.

Pheromone: Maybe euphemism for her boner.

JohnnyoftheWell: She wasn’t literally 10ft tall.

Pheromone: It is a metaphor. She’s on a ladder.

JohnnyoftheWell: Boner metaphor.

Pheromone: Like that famous poem.

JohnnyoftheWell: Uhuh.

Pheromone: I just googled boner poem

[…]

Pheromone: I sort of got a bit mixed up listening to a song I will almost certainly KILL later on, but this is a great second track and maybe better than the first and I am scared of the consequences. KEEP it and I will KILL Kiss.

JohnnyoftheWell: This didn’t used to be a favourite and it is still not a favourite, but it is a perfect second track and nothing should take its place. KEEP it and I will KILL the Grateful Dead.

garas: I don’t like this, I want to skip it. Bad flow, and I’m allergic to autotune – if you guys know me, this shouldn’t be a surprise. Bye-bye, *Thanos snap*. There, I”ve just KILLed it. I’d rather listen to Post Malone. (I hate you Johnny for making this rule.)

Pheromone: I really really like this song.

JohnnyoftheWell: I really really really like you.

(3) I Really Like You

Pheromone: Is this the bonus track? Weird placement.

JohnnyoftheWell: No you plum this is the lead single.

Pheromone: Oh man this has 360 mil listens. What do you think Carly watches? Television wise.

JohnnyoftheWell: What position does she watch television in usually?

Pheromone: She watches television on a carpet on the floor in a bundle, knees tucked in and comfy.

JohnnyoftheWell: Aww, like, reclining?

Pheromone: Yeahhh but she is 10ft tall and her man cannot see the screen.

garas: Fuck me, I know this song! This is catchy, and from my first time seeing the video clip, I can tell Tom Hanks is full cringe in the clip, though. I gotta KEEP this for some reason. It is time to KILL Bob Dylan.

Pheromone: I unfortunately have to KILL the main single just because that chorus has haunted work shifts in the past. It’s hardly Carly’s fault but also it is entirely her fault. I really really really, eh. KILL, give me Call Me Maybe. Oh shit no not that. Do you know I adore the song Umbrella, so I would almost certainly put it on literally any album ever, even Meadowlands. Maybe especially Meadowlands. KILL it and I will KEEP Rihanna (I will reword this)

JohnnyoftheWell: Hmmm I Really Like You is a cute single and pretty dumb but also incredibly catchy and this is a pop album. It wears a little thin compared to most of these bangers, but KEEP it somewhat narrowly and I will KILL Echo and the Bunnymen (that was a hard one).

(4) Gimme Love

Pheromone: Her vocals on this album and the way they all come in and sync and she harmonises with herself and hnng with that weird Imagine Dragons woooahhh in the background. This album is surprisingly surprising me. KEEP this and KILL U2. (I should probably have KILLed U2 on a more narrow KEEP.)

garas: Garas kills, fatality. I think I knew this one too, but I hated it, so it is a KILL. Gimme Hayley Williams, I guess?

JohnnyoftheWell: Gimme Love is annoying. The hooks are annoying and there is nothing in this song but hooks. It does not bop. A huge betrayal from Carly. KILL this and gimme some Charli XCX or whateva.

Pheromone: Woah we disagree.

(5) All That

Pheromone: Love that this synth opening reminds me of John Maus. I wonder if that collab would ever work out.

JohnnyoftheWell: There’s room for all comers in Carly’s prod roster.

Pheromone: John Maus is now a Capitol riot stormer man though and Carly cannot work with such people.

JohnnyoftheWell: Carly was there too. She was

A scar

No-one

Could see.

Pheromone: But seriously what is Max [Landis] doing [now]?

JohnnyoftheWell: Max is keeping his profile low his race is run.

Pheromone: “I’ll be your lighthouse when you’re lost at sea / I’ll keep my light on, baby” – why is this basically a Brand New lyric?

JohnnyoftheWell: Lmao yikes. Opposite end of the stick, but yeah for real. If Carly had been around in 2003, Brand New would never have needed to plumb such depths of psychological toxic for the denizens of sputnikmusic.com and very gross subreddit.

But she was not.

And they were lost.

At sea.

Pheromone: At sea.

garas: Very cheesy start, and a pretty bad song. Let’s KILL it before it lays eggs. I don’t know who I want to listen to instead… I’m already out of ideas. The Weeknd?

JohnnyoftheWell: I love this chorus and how central the bassline sometimes is, this album’s downbeat cuts are really good and slightly underappreciated in general tbh. KEEP this and KILL Metallica.

Pheromone: Woah the second half of this goes really un-80s for the first time and I’m also not super a fan BUT then that synth pierces through lightly and I am such a sucker for synth, I will never turn down good synth. KEEP but KILL Depeche Mode.

(6) Boy Problems

Pheromone: Damn, two dench dudes just walked past me in football shirts and smiled at me. D’aw.

JohnnyoftheWell: Aww cute, were they ur boy problems?

Pheromone: I hate this. Boy problems implies plural problems.

JohnnyoftheWell: Carly has them problems too. We are plural.

Pheromone: Duality of man.

JohnnyoftheWell: Let’s start a band and call it the boy problems,

Pheromone: Post punk revival. I’ve got worse problems (I broke up with my boyfriend) is my favourite ad-lib ever.

JohnnyoftheWell: Have you read Max on this? It’s a critical song in the narrative.

Pheromone: Is it the I broke up with my boyfriend ad-lib?

JohnnyofheWell: It’s not her singing about a boy to us, it’s her singing on the phone to a third party who is a female friend.

Pheromone: Ohh it’s to her friend who is Sia.

JohnnyoftheWell: Yes. Doesn’t that make you wanna KEEP it?

Pheromone: No. iwannagrokwithyou on genius reckons that “Carly simultaneously deflates and embraces the vapid nature of pop music songwriting” and I think that is convenient. KILL but KEEP Viva La Vida era Coldplay.

JohnnyoftheWell: Unlike Carly’s lyrical persona, Boy Problems is a fucking slapper. Absolute KEEP, I’m confident enough that let’s KILL Blondie.

garas: This was so predictably generic, I’m out of words to describe it. Get KILLed. I’ll go with Natalia Lafourcade.

Pheromone: MaxBurg notes “Notice how the “don’t” in “I don’t really care” gets quieter every time the line is uttered.” which is actually kind of cool.

JohnnyoftheWell: This album is very heavy.

(7) Making the Most of the Night

JohnnyoftheWell: Fuck me this one is so good. The golden run starts here. Or maybe it started on Boy Problems.

Pheromone: It didn’t!

JohnnyoftheWell: Imma hijack u. What do you read into hijack? Is it cute or cringe?

Pheromone: Woah it is scary but I like it. Weird words.

JohnnyoftheWell: Wordplay. Oh man, this might be the only memorable bridge on the album. I forgot it was there.

Pheromone: “Johnny simultaneously deflates and embraces the vapid nature of remembering.” Woah is this bridge about to do a CRSCENDO?

JohnnyoftheWell: Oh yeah flamenco Carly i forgot about that too. Even if it was literally 2 strums.

Pheromone: By two different guitarists

JohnnyoftheWell: Who paid for this shit?

Pheromone: Woah those keys to end, yeah the song is certi-80s music romanticising at its best but also it kind of gratteeees me in it’s cheese ah. KEEP but KILL The Stranglers.

JohnnyoftheWell: Making the Most of The Night is sometimes my favourite song and probably the most intense thing on the album, so another easy KEEP. I could KILL a lot of bands for this but let’s go with Rush because their bridges are also hard to remember.

garas: This is boring as hell. See, this is why I don’t listen to pop. I KILL it, and I’d rather listen to pop era Linkin Park.

(8) Your Type

JohnnyoftheWell: I did this at karaoke once but have no memory of it. Actually no I didn’t, my mate put on This Kiss instead and I was really pissed at him.

Pheromone: I bet she acts so perfectly / You probably eat up every word she says / And if you ever think of me I bet I’m just a flicker in your head.

JohnnyoftheWell: Yeah when you dig deep, this album is very devastating.

Pheromone: Carly channelling that Violent Femmes / Pinkerton simping here. Interesting stuff. But it works.

JohnnyoftheWell: Oh THIS is the best bridge how could we forget it.

Pheromone: Lol.

JohnnyoftheWell: Lmao.

Pheromone: This is a good bridge. Sturdy.

JohnnyoftheWell: Swift. Chaster than weezer.

Pheromone: 27 million listens, how many 30-somethings listen to this and think of their co-workers (engaging in the theory).

garas: Uninteresting. KILL. And at this point, I have no idea who I want to KEEP instead… Latest A Day to Remember?

Pheromone: Shit this is a hard one. KILL because I want to make the best 2010s synth album ever. KILL and KEEP me Uptown Funk era Bruno Mars

JohnnyoftheWell: Obviously KEEP Your Type, one of the sweetest, saddest cuts. Feel the depth of the concept – the emoTional journey is at its tenderest here! KEEP and KILL the Sex Pistols.

Pheromone: We are getting so near LA Hallucinations which I will 10000% kill and I am on the edge of my seat, on the carpet in a bundle on the floor.

(9) Let’s Get Lost

JohnnyoftheWell: I think this is the cutest song. I really wanna make toast, but this is a really succinct album and the bangers are coming thick and fast here so it’s a no.

Pheromone: Yeah this is hella cutesy. I have just texted 3 exes.

JohnnyoftheWell: Sounds fun can I join?

Pheromone: Yes but it might cost money from the Japanese text rate abroad right and plus i am already doing it on 5 burner phones so.

JohnnyoftheWell: Yeah that’s a point. Before this I broke off an argument with my sister over the lyrics on Rina Sawayama’s Chosen Family, and maybe chatting to exes is the better discourse.

Pheromone: I (haha) always loved the lyrics trope of getting lost with a s/o, it’s cutesy as fuck and fuck yeah SAX woah baby. GODDAMN that ending. KEEP and KILL Rina Sawayama. Is she guitar led 80s rock?

JohnnyoftheWell: She is not, alas. She is a 2020 gal.

Pheromone: Ok will change to Blue Oyster Cult when it comes to it.

JohnnyoftheWell: Let’s Get Lost is adorable and I adore it. KEEP it and KILL Van Halen.

garas: What is your problem with Van Halen, bruh? Anyway, it is another song to KILL. The saxophone was terrible. If I want to hear sexy saxophone, then I will jam some Donny Benét instead.

(10) LA Hallucinations

Pheromone: Haha I weirdly like this second time around. But yeah this is tooooooooo fucking modern and kinda contrasts with the retro rest. Everything about it.

JohnnyoftheWell: This isn’t a bad song I think. but it is kinda a bad song on this album. Those ba-da-da-dah synth hooks are not good.

Pheromone: Ruins the run. Synths are bad.

JohnnyoftheWell: They remind me of Gym Class Heroes. I wish people still listened to them so we could KILL or KEEP.

Pheromone: Yeahhhhh and that chorus reminds me of clubbing and there’s no need for that.

JohnnyoftheWell: But like lame clubbing.

Pheromone: A toxic masculine man has just messaged me on facebook asking why i am listening to Carly – you just don’t get it !!!

JohnnyoftheWell: A lost soul. Also does she say BUZZFEED in the bridge? You’ve heard it twice you should know this.

Pheromone: Yeah haha and TMZ oh my.

JohnnyoftheWell: LA Hallucinations is an okay song and frankly there is not time for that here. It is flighty, but is it emotional? I do not know. Not good enough. KILL and um I guess jam Rina instead.

Pheromone: Oh yeah fuck that song, too redundant and ruins the album’s kinda nice conceptual sound. KILL and give me Fireflies.

JohnnyoftheWell: As in Owl City??

Pheromone: Yes.

garas: It took me only 19 seconds to make me feel irritated. KILL. I want to jam Flowers of Evil by Ulver now.

(11) Warm Blood

JohnnyoftheWell: Does this one make you wanna dance or cry?

Pheromone:  Fucking hell the sun is coming in and i can hardly read your messages

JohnnyoftheWell: Also big up to the vaporwave guy after the chorus.

Pheromone: And I KNOW you’re saying something prescient.

JohnnyoftheWell: Shit band.

Pheromone: I love this.

JohnnyoftheWell: This beat makes me shuffle sadly.

Pheromone: Dance at the end of the night when you realise life is pain.

JohnnyoftheWell: Fuck the pain away.

Pheromone: Is that a Hollywood Undead reference?

JohnnyoftheWell: No it was a reference to an incorrect reference to St. Vincent that Rowan made.

Pheromone: I have baited myself out […] “Warm Blood” is about a passionate crush, and was co-written and co-produced by Rostam Batmanglij, who was formerly the multi-instrumentalist of Vampire Weekend.

JohnnyoftheWell: Weren’t Vampire Weekend also me too’d to oblivion?

Pheromone: Oh shit yeah, but i think it’s low key anonymous (i.e. man not named) so people justify listening.

JohnnyoftheWell: Ok I won’t cancel Warm Blood.

Pheromone: Warm Blood is super good and also super melancholy but also super danceable. It’s everything I look to Vampire Weekend for!! KEEP but KILL Neil Young bcos he is a Vampire Weekend copycat.

JohnnyoftheWell: I will KEEP it because it is one of the best emotional tracks on this emotional rollercoaster of an album and it also has maybe the more interesting production on this boi. Let’s KILL Big Black, Steve Alibi could never produce a song like that.

garas: KILL this beat! Such a terrible song, probably one of the worst songs on the album. I’m not gonna lie, I skipped this after 1:30. I KEEP Daniel O’Sullivan’s synth-pop band, Miracle instead.

(12) When I Needed You

Pheromone: With this album’s pace, i.e. without 7 minute over-long songs, it’s a bit of a battle doing these writings and having to pay attention to the next song. OH SHIT this is the last song.

Johnnyofthewell: Can we have a toast break after?

Pheromone: Yes I will make another coffee. Also this song is not a song I want to close the album.

JohnnyoftheWell: Yeah, neither. It’s like a chin-up on you go closer, which is a good thing if Warm Blood broke ur fking heart like it should have done, but also a bad thing because I don’t wanna put my chin up.

Pheromone: True but the typing aspect of my life presently is making my bias to this album mostly tonal. And that “you come to me in dreams at night” 80s ear-whisper is kinda cheese in the context of the posi simp / closure closer.

JohnnyoftheWell: It is kinda cheese in any context. Including this one.

Pheromone: Yeah true. KILL but gimme A-Punk.

JohnnyoftheWell: I guess KILL for not being not a class-A clingy banger, and gimme Jessie Ware because she would never do such a thing.

garas: I’m losing my patience here. *casts 9th level enchantment spell: POWER WORD KILL*!! I KEEP River Tiber to ease my nerves.

[toast break]

garas: Oh toasssssst! Don’t mind me, but having some toast sounds a far more interesting goal to me at this point. Plus, I was on a pretty decent KILL-strike, so it is probably for the better if I stop right here.

*hand signs*

変わり身の術 (= Kawarimi no Jutsu)

garas summons Pangea.

garas: Quick, Pangea! Let’s swap places and finish this task! Don’t forget: there is no win, without a KILL!

garas leaves the KILL or KEEP and is replaced by Pangea

garas’ leaving total is: ten KILLs and two KEEPs, one KEEP below the required threshold.

He is disqualified, but Pangea now holds the floor. Watch him shine!

Pangea: Hi guys! I’m here to save the show. Uhh expectations: Side A is excellent and it has been in constant rotation for me ever since its release. However, I never liked Side B all that much and I’m expecting more KILLs as KEEPs here, but it has been years so maybe something changed?? Who knows?

(13) First Time

JohnnyoftheWell: This is our first time listening to this song. What first time is it about?

Pheromone: Catching tears like raindrops here in the glass / Keep them safe in case you should ever ask.

It is about the first time you discover capybaras and think wow giant guinea pig.

I think I stole that from someone on casual convo.

What first time IS it about?

JohnnyoftheWell: What is the capybara a metaphor for? Oh shit she said the title lyric and I wasn’t listening to the line before it.

Pheromone: Yeah it is first time heartbreak.

JohnnyoftheWell: Okay that explains why it’s called First Time. I don’t know if I like this.

Pheromone: No I don’t like this, for exactly the same reason I didn’t like LA.

JohnnyoftheWell: Vanilla clubtimes?

Pheromone: It’s got a kind of 80s vhs dance class music vibe but also mad vanilla clubtimes yeah.

JohnnyoftheWell: This is defs the Black Country No Road of CRJ songs.

Pheromone: Yes. Those angular synths and private school funding.

JohnnyoftheWell: I bet A G Cook heard this and choked on his Tropicana.

Pheromone: Lol. KILL but KEEP me Island In The Sun. Wow Pitchfork said something along the lines of “this is a B-side album but it feels more like a continuation of the conceptual whole of Emotion Side A” but but I am not fucking with this nearly as much.

JohnnyoftheWell: This is neither a good Carly song nor a particularly good song. It is what the kids call MID and it’s MID enough that I can KILL it and choose to listen to sodding Taylor Swift instead.

Pheromone: Was saving that one.

Pangea: Carly has always tiptoed the line of making glossy synth music and more grounded, relatable song-writing. On Side A she mostly nailed this balance, however this track misses the mark for me. It’s too glossy and cheesy. A certain KILL.  I will KEEP Passion Pit instead for better glossy synth pop.

(14) Higher

JohnnyoftheWell: We need to reconnect with the concept.

Pheromone: This is better and easier.

JohnnyoftheWell: Yeah this is equally generic but also less tryhard and I like it.

Pheromone: I like the pre-chorus a lot.

JohnnyoftheWell: The chorus is also good.

Pheromone: Yes.

JohnnyoftheWell: This was not written by her and you can kinda tell tbh.

Pheromone: Yeah for real.

JohnnyoftheWell: Feels very interchangeable radio pop, this bridge could have been sung by anyone.

Pheromone: Jesus, quick question – is The Shaggs 60s guitar rock?

[…]

Pheromone: This song really reminds me of something Little Mix would put out (and I think it actually sounds like one of their tunes and that is why, I just canny name it). It’s not that bad at all really and is one of the better pure pop cuts but eh I would never want that in my perfect synth album. KILL but KEEP me Jamiroquai.

JohnnyoftheWell: I really enjoyed that but also feel I have heard it sung by many humans before and that Carly singing it was just a phase and not one I need to repeat. KILL it and throw on uhhh Lady Gaga.

Pangea: I agree with you both on this being a fairly generic pop song, but I have a lot of appreciation for well-constructed pop songs and this is certainly one of them. The pre-chorus & chorus are easily the best on the album for me. KEEP and I will KILL Nena.

(15) The One

JohnnyoftheWell: Yeah this is a b-side collection.

Pheromone: Yeah but at least this is SYNTH. Kind of. But yeah this is a step down and I am let down by someone who I had trusted since like 13:00.

JohnnyoftheWell: So much pressure on those two digits.

Pheromone: Haha looks like boobs amiright.

JohnnyoftheWell: Taylor Swift also has a song called the 1. It is even worse than this.

Pheromone: I don’t wanna be the 13:00 but actually narrow KEEP because it picks up this Side B pace like a motherfucker in return to retro soundz. KEEP and KILL The Shaggs.

JohnnyoftheWell: The One is a b-side. I can tell this because I am a music critic. I will KILL it and listen to Aimyon xo

Pangea: This would be on the lower end of Side A quality-wise, but I do enjoy this quite a bit. It’s a perfectly fine pop song. I will narrowingly KEEP this, but it is on thin ice. I will KILL Madonna instead.

(16) Fever

Pheromone: Woah Aimyon I like. This is the main song on this according to spotify streams.

JohnnyoftheWell: She says break my heart so yeah it must be pretty big.

Pheromone: What do you think she wrote, but didn’t send?

JohnnyoftheWell: She had to change her tv watching position and got distracted her ankles were cramping. Or had low circulation.

Pheromone: Pins and needles. I love and am laughing but this is meant to be breaking my heart.

JohnnyoftheWell: This hook. The don’t break my heart tonight one. Is a hook on the new Xiu Xiu.

Pheromone: Oh no shit

JohnnyoftheWell: And this is making me laugh

Pheromone: Sampled? ?

JohnnyoftheWell: No haha just the same hook. Diff lyrics etc

Pheromone: Fucking hell

JohnnyoftheWell: I can’t think of a single good reason to KILL Fever, so let’s KEEP it and KILL Dream Theater’s 1989 debut album instead.

Pheromone: Shit this one is hard. KILL because kind of like what Johnjo Shelvey said earlier, I could kind of imagine anyone over this and that isn’t what I want when I am deep in the albums concept. KILL and KEEP me Sia.

Pangea: Eh, this is pretty weak. This might be the most limp hook Carly has ever written. Nothing in this song really works for me. Easy KILL. I will KEEP Eefje de Visser for this (very good Dutch indie pop artist, check her!). She does the kinda subdued synth pop from the verse a lot better.

(17) Body Language

JohnnyoftheWell: This whole EP makes me feel i should be more into aerobics

Pheromone: Pure neon green workout tights and headbands.

JohnnyoftheWell: Do you rock headbands?

Pheromone: I do not. I have a big forehead. I think this is my favourite on this EP so far in its pop pop pop pop pop bubble wrap. KEEP and KILL The Rolling Stones.

JohnnyoftheWell: KILL Body Language and jam Kim Petras.

Pangea: This is the most Side A song on here stylistically, while not being as good as any Side A track. I’m glad it was kept as a b-side. KILL and KEEP Ariana Grande because she has a couple of better bangers.

(18) Cry

Pheromone: Woah this is really a workout album. This is the concept.

JohnnyoftheWell: Oh I like this one so far.

Pheromone: Yeah me yes.

JohnnyoftheWell: Why is she working out? What demons is she sweating out – boy problems?

Pheromone: The boy is late all the time, but like, weeks late.

JohnnyoftheWell: He had his reasons.

Pheromone: He was on a ski tour. Oh yeah, I like this song.

JohnnyoftheWell: Yeah this is the best so far. Should have been the A-side on instead of Gimme Love.

Pheromone: This outro is luvly.

JohnnyoftheWell: This is pop music.

Pheromone: Yeah this would be a super good outro.

JohnnyoftheWell: What a fucking legend.

Pheromone: The shape of pop to come

JohnnyoftheWell: Oh wait there’s still a minute left

Pheromone: Woah it is an epic

JohnnyoftheWell: There are multiple outros. Multiple bridges.

Pheromone: It is a city with many outs. And all are good.

JohnnyoftheWell: CRJ knows how to pick a brunch cafe but she also knows how to pick a bookstore and a club and a supermarket. This is a song for the people.

Pheromone: This is a song for the cry and the non-cry alike. It is a classic. KILL.

KEEP and, fuck it, KILL Joy Division.

JohnnyoftheWell: Okay I will definitely KEEP that it was very nice. Not a B-side! Get on my tracklist! KILL Van Morrison, I bet his cooking is shite.

Pheromone: Wow the album is taking a sad but better direction.

Pangea: I’m so happy we can be in agreement here, this is easily the best Side B song. This would have been a great Gimme Love replacement. KEEP and KILL Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.

Pangea: now reading the full convo before here and Johnny is in agreement with this as Gimme Love replacement. Yay!

(19) Store

JohnnyoftheWell: What does that say for Carly as an artist?

Pheromone: Oh it means she is better when she is sad. Like she is in Skins.

JohnnyoftheWell: Yeah and like, you think her character is too posi for Skins but she’s the one who keeps the whole show going.She is nothing without it.

Pheromone: Yeah she’s the only one that everyone loves at the time, but then it finishes and her co-workers are winning oscars.

JohnnyoftheWell: And she’s just going to the store. This reminds me why the bubblegum gang love Carly.

Pheromone: Haha this song is actually kind of shit

JohnnyoftheWell: Yeah that. Exactly that.

Pheromone: KILL and KEEP me Cry era CRJ.

JohnnyoftheWell: KEEP Store. It was kinda dumb but it reminded me what made Carly Carly in 2016. Stay true etc., KILL Emerson, Lake and Palmer because the bar is low here.

Pangea: This song is such a shame. I really like how it starts with its nice calm beat and I love the slightly more atmospheric approach for her. The pre chorus is pretty good too! But the chorus is such a fucking tragedy. It’s so bad and it completely ruins the vibe of the song. KILL and KEEP Broods for knowing how not to screw up a brooding song.

(20) Roses

Pheromone: Ok so Carly is 0-1 on closers right now so this is big big.

JohnnyoftheWell: Shit this is the closer.

Pheromone: Proper apt one so far. I am a bit scared she’s gonna break into a “I’M JUST GOING TO THE STORE TO THE STORE” quiet-loud shtick again.

JohnnyoftheWell: Carly Rae Pixies. The Pixar sequel.

Pheromone: She used the word cigarettes. Lana Del Rey / 10.

JohnnyoftheWell: Drunk on cigarettes Yeah that is v Lana. Gonna have to KILL on principle now.

Pheromone: Lol. That little synth key running through the background is v v floaty

JohnnyoftheWell: Okay it is over. I honestly don’t know whether to KILL or KEEP that.

Pheromone: I am KEEPING for sure.

JohnnyoftheWell: Okay, good point. Roses is another good radio song that is also an average CRJ song. Has Carly been transcended by the radio? 悪因悪果!KILL, and listen to Seiko Oomori because this was the best KILL‘d song so far

Pheromone: Roses shows that Carly is apt for a good closer, it keeps the EP’s more pop sound going whilst drawing back to what made EMOTION side A a proper good’un. Couple of lyrical eeks and ers but fuck it KEEP and KILL Ringo Starr’s solo career.

JohnnyoftheWell: Ummmm.

Pheromone: Well.

Pangea: I can appreciate this song as it feels like it’s somewhat of a different approach for her, but ehh it doesn’t really work for me. The chorus in particular feels a little more anthemic as it should be. You know props to her, but it is a KILL. KEEP Lorde for good breakup songs.

Closing Remarks

Pheromone: I really enjoyed the first side, more than I expected, and am interested in whether I will return to it in like 5 years time. Watch this space. The Side B is a proper step down and not even like a Amnesiac b-side step down, it’s like a er, hm. That one Mr. Smiley named album everyone used to rip- oh St. Anger step down. There’s a couple of saveable tunes to be some of the worst on my new creation BUT my new creation will be the greatest synth pop album of all time and ig the concept will maybe hold but idk. 3.5 probably Side A, 2 probably Side B

JohnnyoftheWell: All the good things about Emotion are still good, shock horror – banger after banger, and so sweet and enticing and secretly neurotic and conspiratorial. However, my theory that that album was the only great thing CRJ will ever make is holding true because the B-sides don’t have half the charm or intrigue. I am glad I skipped over their section in the Jepsen files and am reticent about revisiting them anytime soon. But yay, great album!!

Pangea: Side B is exactly how I remember: a few decent songs among a bunch of mediocre tracks. I never really got the hype for either b-sides releases and I’m glad most of these songs are not on Side A. I can appreciate that she tried a few new things, particularly in the two tracks, but unfortunately those didn’t work for me.

Final Killstats

garas: 83.3% (10/12 (DISQUALIFIED for insufficient KEEPs))

JohnnyoftheWell: 40% (8/20)

Pangea: 62.5% (5/8) (Side A is only 3/12 KILLs though!)

Pheromone: 45% (9/20)

The End.

Thank you for reading/scrolling to The End. 

Please flame us and volunteer an album to be KEPT and KILLed next time around. 

Hate on as many synthesizers as you like but don’t be a sexist bitch about it. 

Enjoy your day.





Pangea
05.11.21
kill songs from side a are i really like you, gimme love (johnny was 100% on the money) & when i needed you btw

JohnnyoftheWell
05.11.21
KILL or KEEP: sputnik's fuckoff dinosaur character formatting

parksungjoon
05.11.21
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specials_(Unicode_block)#Replacement_character

GhandhiLion
05.11.21
kill most of it because pop music is bad for you

garas
05.11.21
Disqualified? Pffffffffff

someone
05.11.21
unqualified

someone
05.11.21
this a contributor thing?

JesperL
05.11.21
phero and johnny you're dead to me for killing higher smh
ok nvm pangea you're dead to me too for killing body language smh. and johnny you're double dead now for killing body language as well smh

Pangea
05.11.21
it is someone. please gimme the tag

DivergentThinking
05.11.21
One of the best pop albums of all time

Pheromone
05.11.21
do not stress guys I found the boner poem in the end

SteakByrnes
05.11.21
I don't love this album like everybody else seems to but it's solid

Egarran
05.11.21
I must admit I did not read all of this.

Bringing in garas might have saved this though, nice move. That poor sucker.


DivergentThinking
05.11.21
I’m glad that I wasn’t part of this KILL/KEEP because I would have been way too biased and given the album a 10/5 or something lol

JohnnyoftheWell
05.11.21
egarran you have to listen to the album first

it is an order!

nolerthebowler
05.11.21
you guys should do Blonde by Frank Ocean. I'd enjoy reading that

SteakByrnes
05.11.21
You guys should do Chocolate Starfish Hot Dog Water

GhandhiLion
05.11.21
[2]

JohnnyoftheWell
05.11.21
I think Tool was on the cards but ig we could upgrade to Limp Biz

nolerthebowler
05.11.21
do blonde

Pheromone
05.11.21
ega aw

granitenotebook
05.11.21
i was so proud of you on side a until you killed when i needed you which is like maybe the best song on the whole album? particularly proud of you johnny for keeping boy problems and lets get lost. and all of you for killing la hallucinations, which is just an entirely unnecessary song.
those rules are good and i respect them
also thanks for the s/o

porcupinetheater
05.11.21
"I don’t wanna be the 13:00"

Phero quietly making the cleverest joke ever

porcupinetheater
05.11.21
Phero is saved for KEEPing Body Language
Johnny and Pangea better be sleeping with one eye OPEN

porcupinetheater
05.11.21
Oh wow Jesper already said that very same thing, Jesper grab your pointy things, we are about to hunt Johnny and Pange for sport

DivergentThinking
05.12.21
"JohnnyoftheWell: Idk, how tall is Carly Rae?

Pheromone: Dude’s a giant. It’s two kids in a long jacket on top of each other."

lol

Pheromone
05.12.21
it was to his coy mistress

JesperL
05.12.21
let's go porc LET'S GO

Sinternet
05.12.21
i read through the whole of this and still doesn't understand whats going on but uh gj guys

JohnnyoftheWell
05.12.21
granite i LOVE YOU and I swear me and Pang would be the most unlikely and therefore probably successful hunger games tagteam in the (team) game ok yes

Pangea
05.12.21
we will listen to side b to get in shape

JohnnyoftheWell
05.12.21
we will wear matching headbands with crucial small differences

no-one will be able to touch our shadows

porcupinetheater
05.12.21
Nothing casts a shadow six feet underground, can't touch what isn't there

porcupinetheater
05.12.21
I am sorry for stunting threats on the blogs, Carly makes volcano music, brings the heat to the surface

JohnnyoftheWell
05.12.21
i'm growing 10 ft tall

porcupinetheater
05.12.21
"All that we can do with this emotion" implies infinite potentialities for the manifestation of deepest darkness

JohnnyoftheWell
05.12.21
"Gold mines glisten in the skin for you and I" is q frankly a bone-chilling statement

Get Low
05.12.21
Were the question mark diamonds in the title intended? I feel like they're suitable.

JohnnyoftheWell
05.13.21
they were not intended lol they broke the site, but i'm glad you approv

Nocte
05.13.21
We doing a Hinder album next right?

Egarran
05.13.21
>"All that we can do with this emotion" implies infinite potentialities for the manifestation of deepest darkness

Can't believe it took so long for someone to make that comment.

JohnnyoftheWell
05.14.21
someone didn't read the conspiracy link.

Egarran
05.14.21
Don't focus on the faults of other people

u must look inside
face the real terror

JohnnyoftheWell
05.15.21
good song tbh

Pheromone
05.15.21
feature this

Havey
05.18.21
might fuck around and KILL your families for killing boy problems

johnny will be spared

Pheromone
05.18.21
does that include my dog?

Havey
05.18.21
your dog is a hard KEEP

JohnnyoftheWell
05.18.21
how is your dog havey

budgie
05.18.21
another fantastic list by resident shellfish jonney

JohnnyoftheWell
05.18.21
hey BUDGIE wanna be in the next one?

Pangea
05.19.21
yes please have budgie in this it will be perfect

killing boy problems is indeed a sin

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