Kiss (Carly Rae Jepsen album)

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Kiss
Studio album by Carly Rae Jepsen
Released September 14, 2012 (2012-09-14)
Recorded 2011–12
Genre
Length 42:24
Label
Producer
Carly Rae Jepsen chronology
Curiosity
(2012)
Kiss
(2012)
Kiss: The Remix
(2013)
Singles from Kiss
  1. "Call Me Maybe"
    Released: February 20, 2012
  2. "Good Time"
    Released: June 26, 2012
  3. "This Kiss"
    Released: September 10, 2012
  4. "Almost Said It"
    Released: December 4, 2012[1]
  5. "Tonight I'm Getting Over You"
    Released: January 21, 2013

Kiss is the second studio album by Canadian recording artist Carly Rae Jepsen. It was released on September 14, 2012, by 604, Schoolboy and Interscope Records. After her debut, Tug of War (2008), which managed to receive success in Canada but was never released worldwide, Kiss became Jepsen's first internationally released album. Songs on the album are in the nu-disco,[2] dance-pop,[3][4] and teen pop[3][4][5] genres, drawing inspiration from The Cars, Madonna, and Swedish performer, Robyn. Featuring production from a wide collection of producers including Dallas Austin, Josh Ramsay, and Redfoo, the album features a track with guest vocals from Justin Bieber.

Kiss was given mixed-to-favorable reviews by critics. Critics praised Jepsen for her vocal performance, song writing, and production. However, they deemed it as immature for her age. The album debuted at number six on the Billboard 200, selling over 46,000 copies in its opening week and debuted at five on the Canadian Albums Chart, selling over 8,000 copies in its opening week. It also charted in numerous international markets. The album and its singles earned Jepsen two Grammy Award nominations including Song of the Year, as well as winning Album of the Year and Pop Album of the Year at the Juno Awards of 2013.

The album charted across Europe and in the United States, reaching the top ten in the latter, in Canada (her native country), Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the UK. Two singles, "Call Me Maybe" and "Good Time", were released before the album's debut. "Call Me Maybe" was a huge commercial success, reaching number one in over fifteen countries and garnering over 500 million views online. "Good Time", a collaboration with synthpop artist Owl City, peaked in the top ten also. The third single, "This Kiss", was released in September 2012. The fourth and final single, "Tonight I'm Getting Over You", was released on February 19, 2013 in the US.

Recording locations[edit]

For the recording of Kiss, Jepsen had recorded at a multitude of recording studios such as 2nd Floor Studios, Bieler Bros. Studios, Boiler Room, Darp Studios, Focus Studios, Hipposonic Studios, Kite Productions Studios, London Police Station, MXM Studios, Pagzilla Sound Labs, Party Rock Studio, Pulse Recording, Signalpath Studios, Sky Harbor Studios, Sunset Marquis Studio, The Terrarium, Triangle Sound Studios West, Umbrella Studios.[6]

Singles[edit]

A Caucasian female with shoulder-length, wavy brown hair and wearing a powder blue dress sings and pearls into a microphone on stage, extending both arms in an emphatic gesture.
Jepsen performing at the 2012 Burlington's Sound of Music Festival.

"Call Me Maybe", which was an international success, peaked at number one in several countries including Canada and the US, and was released as the lead single internationally on February 22, 2012. The song received generally positive reviews from contemporary critics, who praised its composition and clever lyrical content. After reaching the top position in Canada, Jepsen became only the fifth Canadian artist to do so in her home country since 2007. In the United States, the track reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Pop Songs chart. The song is the first number one by a Canadian female artist on the Billboard Hot 100 chart since 2007's "Girlfriend" by Avril Lavigne. A music video for "Call Me Maybe" was written and directed by Ben Knechtel. The video received three nominations on the 2012 MuchMusic Video Awards in the categories of UR Fave Video, Pop Video of the Year, and Video of the Year.

A 19-second sample of the chorus which features Jepsen singing about hoping for a call back from a crush.[7] The dance-pop background incorporates synthesized string chords, and elements from disco.[7][8]

Problems playing this file? See media help.

The second international single from Kiss, "Good Time" was released on June 26, 2012 and features Owl City. In the US, the song debuted at number 32 on the US Pop Songs chart, and number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100, for the week dated July 4, reaching number eight a few weeks after. The song is the second to make the top ten on the chart for both artists; Owl City's first top ten single since "Fireflies", as well as Carly Rae Jepsen's first top-ten single since "Call Me Maybe", making Jepsen one of the few artists in history to have two top ten songs in the same week. And as of August 29, 2012 the song has sold over one million copies in the United States alone, and was certified Platinum status in that territory. In Canada and New Zealand it peaked at number one, becoming Owl City's first number-one single and Jepsen's second in both countries. The song debuted at number 17 on the UK Singles Chart on August 26, 2012. The song charted before the single release due to the song being available from Owl City's album, The Midsummer Station. It rose to five the following week, becoming Owl City's first top five UK hit since 2010's "Fireflies". The music video directed by Declan Whitebloom was released on July 24, 2012 on Owl City's official Vevo. On the same day, Adam Young tweeted about the video saying, "It's always a #goodtime going camping with @CarlyRaeJepsen" with a link to the video on YouTube. The video features both Jepsen and Young. It was filmed in Harriman State Park's Silvermine Picnic Area.

The third international single, "This Kiss", was released on September 10, 2012. It achieved moderate success on the charts, reached at #86 on Billboard Hot 100, and #23 on Canadian Hot 100, being the sixth top 40 hit in Canada.

The single "Almost Said It" was released exclusively on the Canadian iTunes Store in December 2012.[9] The single received no promotion, and did not appear on the charts. The fourth and final international single from the album was the fan-favorite "Tonight I'm Getting Over You" which was the lone track produced by Max Martin and Lukas Hilbert. She debuted the song at the 2013 NRJ Music Awards, where she also performed it along with "Call Me Maybe". In January 27, she posted on her Facebook account that she shot the music video in Los Angeles.[10] "Picture" was released on January 23, 2013, exclusively on the Japan iTunes Store as a single to promote the Japanese Tour Edition.[11]

Other songs[edit]

Without any disclosure, "Beautiful" reached at #87 on Billboard Hot 100, #48 on ARIA Charts, #37 on Tracklisten, #87 on Irish Singles Chart, #68 on UK Singles Chart, and #37 on Canadian Hot 100, being Jepsen's seventh top 40 hit in Canada and Bieber's twenty-second top 40 hit in Canada.

Promotion[edit]

Televised concerts[edit]

Jepsen at the Walmart Soundcheck in 2012, where she performed several songs from Kiss.

To promote the album, Jepsen appeared in several live, awards ceremonies and televised appearances, performing the singles "Call Me Maybe", "Good Time", and "This Kiss". "Call Me Maybe" was performed by Jepsen at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards on May 20, 2012, the 2012 MuchMusic Video Awards on June 17, 2012, the 2012 Teen Choice Awards on July 22, 2012, the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards on November 11, 2012, and several others.

Alongside synthpop duo, Owl City, the Canadian chanteuse sang their collaborative single, "Good Time", at America's Got Talent on August 22, 2012,Today on August 23, 2012, U.S. Open's Arthur Ashe Kids' Day on August 25, 2012,The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on August 28, 2012, and Conan on August 29, 2012.

On the drop-date of Kiss, "This Kiss" and "Call Me Maybe" were performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show by Jepsen. Additional performances of "This Kiss" were held at So You Think You Can Dance on September 18, 2012, 90210's episode "Till Death Do Us Part" on October 8, 2012, and Late Show with David Letterman on October 25, 2012. Jepsen performed "This Kiss", "Your Heart Is a Muscle", "Guitar String / Wedding Ring" and "Call Me Maybe" at Walmart Soundcheck on September 26, 2012.

Jepsen performed "This Kiss" and "Call Me Maybe" at American Music Awards of 2012 on November 18, 2012. Jepsen performed "This Kiss" and Call Me Maybe" at Halftime Show during 100th Grey Cup on November 25, 2012. On December 2, 2012, Jepsen performed at The Big Jingle 2012.[12] Jepsen performed "Call Me Maybe" and "Tonight I'm Getting Over You" at NRJ Music Awards of 2012 on January 26, 2013.

Jepsen performed "Sweetie" on the Shake It Up episode "Fair Librarian It Up", which aired on February 24, 2013.[13]

Believe Tour[edit]

Jepsen also promoted the album when opening for Justin Bieber during their Believe Tour in North America, Ireland and United Kingdom dates.[14] During Believe Tour, Jepsen performed "Sweetie", "Tiny Little Bows", "Good Time" with Cody Simpson, "Tonight I'm Getting Over You", "Curiosity", "This Kiss", "Your Heart is a Muscle", "Hurt So Good", "Call Me Maybe", and "Beautiful" with Bieber.

Summer Tour[edit]

Jepsen further promoted Kiss with her first solo concert tour, the Kiss Summer Tour.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 63/100[15]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[16]
Daily News 2/5 stars[17]
The Guardian 2/5 stars[18]
Idolator 4/5 stars[19]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[20]
musicOMH 2/5 stars[21]
Now 4/5 stars[22]
Rolling Stone 2.5/5 stars[23]
Slant Magazine 2.5/5 stars[24]
Toronto Star 3/4 stars[25]

Following its release, Kiss received generally mixed-to-favorable reviews from music critics with an aggregated metascore of 63 of 100 in Metacritic based on 13 reviews.[15]

The positive reviews came in from AllMusic, Entertainment Weekly, Idolator, Los Angeles Times, Now, PopMatters, Toronto Star and the USA Today. Heather Phares of AllMusic gave the album four out of five stars, saying "After a string of fantastical glamazon pop stars like Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Nicki Minaj, there's something to be said for Jepsen's girl-next-door persona, which helps make Kiss one of 2012's best, and sweetest, pop albums."[16] AllMusic also named Kiss as one of its top 10 albums of 2012 citing its "solid songwriting and fizzy melodies to prove her success [with 2012-defining single "Call Me Maybe"] wasn't a fluke."[26] Adam Markovitz of Entertainment Weekly gave the album a B- grade, noting that the album "makes a mad dash for good-enoughness."[27] Sam Lansky of Idolator gave the album four out of five stars, complimenting Jepsen's voice "... and Jepsen's voice proves a surprisingly effective instrument, since she doesn't need an extraordinary range to be one of the more emotive vocalists in the game."[19] Mikael Wood of Los Angeles Times gave it a three out of four stars, evoked how the album "...feels like a successful attempt to invest pheromone-rush dance pop with a bit of old-soul wisdom."[20] Benjamin Boles of Now gave it a four out of five stars, proclaiming the album for containing "...two just okay songs and 14 great ones is better than most acts can manage on their greatest hits packages, let alone their second album."[22] Evan Sawdey of PopMatters gave the album a seven out of ten rating, surmising that "Kiss will not be looked at as one of the all-time great pop albums. Yet song-for-song, Jepsen proves she has more talent than half of the stars out there, managing to not only sell virtually every word on the album but also managing to make it all sound off-the-cuff and effortless, ultimately creating a bubbly pop playground that is both catchy and endearing without having to turn base or crude to get there...If she keeps putting out quality material like virtually all of Kiss, that thankfully will not be the only thing that defines her."[28] Ben Rayner of the Toronto Star gave the album three out of four stars, complimenting it for being "...almost as insidiously easy on the ears," but also criticized its use of the "Call Me Maybe" template: "It's all so bright and immediate and perfectly pleasurable, though, that you don't really realize that you've essentially just listened to the same tune eight times in a row." Rayner ended the review by saying, "Get over the guilt and give in to the pleasure."[25] Brian Mansfield of USA Today rated the album three stars out of four, and said that Carly Rae Jepsen "doesn't always lay herself open the way she does in Call Me Maybe. Much of her album is prefab dance-pop."[29] To this, Mansfield wrote that "There's not another hit like 'Call Me Maybe'. But there's enough substance to ensure she's more than a one-hit wonder."[29]

However, the less positive reviews came from the Daily News, The Guardian, MusicOMH, Rolling Stone, Slant Magazine and Sputnikmusic. Jim Farber of the Daily News gave the album a two out of five stars, writing "No doubt Jepsen's handlers know this, but they didn't feel they could risk switching things up. Instead, they confined her more than ever, tethering her to a role that renders Kiss this year's most redundant disc."[17] Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian gave the album two out of five stars, saying "On this album, her voice is still her Achilles heel; she's a 26-year-old who sounds 16, and a colourless 16 at that." Sullivan however noted that she liked "Beautiful" the most, which she called a "faux-folk ballad" and "a sweet duet with Justin Bieber [...] that suggests that neither artist is completely irredeemable".[18] Blair Kelly of MusicOMH gave it two out of five stars, criticizing the album as "a huge disappointment. It could have been a real gem for fans of guilty pleasure pop, but even Taylor Swift comes across as dark and edgy compared to the squeak of this overproduced laziness. Perhaps the global impact of the massive Call Me Maybe is what makes the album as a whole feel like a damp squib, but with or without US Marine parody videos, the rest of the album fizzles out into synth-pop oblivion."[21] Jon Dolan of Rolling Stone gave it two and half out of five stars, stating "...Kiss too often defaults to mediocre dance pop like the Owl City collaboration "Good Time" – heavy on Disney-fied thump, light on memorable hooks that might highlight her unassuming adorableness."[23] Yorgo Douramacos of Slant Magazine gave it two and a half out of five stars, and despite noting Jepsen for "her simplicity and directness", felt "The fact that it's often expressed in seemingly direct, if dramatically overstated, elements should deceive no one. These are mythically complex creatures. Don't believe me? Ask a teenage boy."[24]

Track listings[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Tiny Little Bows"  
  • Austin
  • Cory Enemy
  • Colin Janz[a]
3:22
2. "This Kiss"  
3:49
3. "Call Me Maybe"  
Ramsay 3:13
4. "Curiosity"  
  • Austin
  • Cory Enemy
  • Stewart[b]
  • Mighty Mike[b]
3:33
5. "Good Time" (with Owl City) Young 3:25
6. "More than a Memory"  
  • Jepsen
  • Matthew Koma
  • Gordy
Matthew Koma 4:02
7. "Turn Me Up"  
  • Abraham
  • Oligee
  • Cory Enemy[b]
3:44
8. "Hurt So Good"  
  • Jepsen
  • Matthew Koma
Matthew Koma 3:09
9. "Beautiful" (featuring Justin Bieber)
3:18
10. "Tonight I'm Getting Over You"  
  • Max Martin
  • Hilbert
3:39
11. "Guitar String / Wedding Ring"  
  • Jepsen
  • Ramsay
  • Crowe
Ramsay 3:27
12. "Your Heart Is a Muscle"  
  • Jepsen
  • Gad
Gad 3:50
Total length:
42:35
Notes

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United States, the album debuted at number 6 with 46,000 copies sold its in first week.[32] In the second week on the chart, it dropped to number 20 after selling 19,000 copies.[33] As of February 2013, the album has sold 226,000 copies.[34] In Japan, the album debuted at number 4 with 29,528 copies sold its in first week.[35] In the second week on the chart, it dropped to number 6 after selling 19,022 copies.[36]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Country Date Edition(s) Label
Australia[59] September 14, 2012 Standard (CD, digital download) Universal
Germany[60]
France[61] September 17, 2012 Deluxe (CD, digital download) Polydor
United Kingdom[62]
Canada[63][64] September 18, 2012 Standard, deluxe (CD, digital download) 604
United States[65][66] Interscope
Japan[30] September 19, 2012 Standard (CD+DVD, digital download) Universal
Japan[31] January 20, 2013 Tour (digital download)

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Kiss at Allmusic.[67]

  • Vocals – Carly Rae Jepsen
  • Guest vocals – Justin Bieber, Owl City
  • Background vocals – Colin Janz, Kelsey Janz, The Minneapolis Youth Chorus, Josh Ramsay, Matthew Thiessen
  • Keyboards – Lukas Hilbert, Max Martin
  • Guitar – Tavish Crowe
Production
  • Executive producers: Justin Bieber, Scott "Scooter" Braun and Jonathan Simkin
  • Vocal producers: Ryan Stewart and Kuk Harrell
  • Vocal editing: Jon Rezin,
  • Mastering: Gene Grimaldi
  • Engineers: Josh Gudwin, Michael Ilbert, Matthew Koma, Josh Ramsay, Ryan Shanahan, Rick Sheppard, Sean Walsh, Ryan Williams and Adam Young
  • Assistant engineers: Matt LaPlant and Brandon N. Caddell
  • Mixing: Serban Ghenea, Toby Gad, John Hanes, Josh Gudwin, Dave Ogilvie, Rob Orton, Robert Orton and RedFoo
  • Assistant mixing: Zach Blackstone, Pedro Dzelme, Miguel Lara, Tim Roberts and Phil Seaford
  • Programming: Rick Sheppard, Cory Enemy, Toby Gad, Lukas Hilbert, Colin Janz, Max Martin and Rick Sheppard
  • Instrumentation: Josh Ramsay, Adam Young and Toby Gad
  • A&R: Larry Jackson, Jonathan Simkin and John Ehmann
  • Photography: Reid Rolls and Damien Fry
  • Art direction and design: Gavin Taylor

References[edit]

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External links[edit]