Dedicated (Carly Rae Jepsen album)

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Dedicated
Black-and-white photograph of Carly Rae Jepsen from behind
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 17, 2019 (2019-05-17)
Recorded2016–2019
Studio
  • Neon Garden (Maderas Village)
  • Rodeo Recording (Santa Monica)
  • The Village Studios (Los Angeles)
  • Captain Cuts Studio (Los Angeles)
  • Rough Customer (Brooklyn)
  • Studio America (Los Angeles)
  • Hope Studios (Silver Lake)
  • 145 House (Sherman Oaks)
  • Comic Sands (Los Angeles)
  • Westlake Studios (Los Angeles)
  • Patrik's House (Stockholm)
  • Dogghouse Studios (Stockholm)
Genre
Length42:23
Label
Producer
Carly Rae Jepsen chronology
Emotion: Side B
(2016)
Dedicated
(2019)
Spotify Singles
(2019)
Carly Rae Jepsen studio album chronology
Emotion
(2015)
Dedicated
(2019)
Dedicated Side B
(2020)
Singles from Dedicated
  1. "Party for One"
    Released: November 1, 2018
  2. "Now That I Found You" / "No Drug Like Me"
    Released: February 27, 2019
  3. "Too Much"
    Released: May 9, 2019

Dedicated is the fourth studio album by Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen. It was released on May 17, 2019, by 604 Records in Canada, and School Boy and Interscope Records in the United States. The album was preceded by the release of the singles "Party for One", "Now That I Found You", "No Drug Like Me", and "Too Much". To support the album Jepsen embarked on The Dedicated Tour with dates in Europe, North America and Asia. A companion album, Dedicated Side B, featuring outtakes from Dedicated, was released just over a year later on May 21, 2020.[1]

Background[edit]

In April 2016, Jepsen spoke to Stereogum that she was eager to work on new music, hoping to halve the production time consumed by her previous record. She cited a stroke of inspiration that wasn't apparent when development on her third studio album Emotion (2015) began, which ultimately took three years to produce as Jepsen sought creative control and an evolution in sound. She aimed to release new music by the next year.[2]

Work on her fourth studio album commenced in June 2016, where she traveled to Sweden on the first of four trips.[3][4][5] Frameworking the project was the notion of how music is consumed in her own life, "which is sometimes a little more homestyle, dance parties in the living room with your friends."[6] Her relationship with photographer David Larkins came to an end during the same trip, which prompted Jepsen to explore the melancholy that pervaded her life:

"I think the album goes through that process of like, 'Shit, what do I do now?' And, at the same time, singlehood for the first time in a while, which I'm kind of new at! So there was an arc of like, full-on heartbreak to a new story. I think I do pull a lot of inspiration from the complexities of relationships in all of its phases. It was a real painful thing in my life, but a real helpful thing for being inspired."[6]

Jepsen described producer John Hill, whom she met further along in the process, as being a "hero on this project, in terms of his production seeming really fresh to me and kind of dark in their tastes, and so it was fun to have these falsetto, almost more soft toplines on top of the dark production." Other contributors to the album include Jack Antonoff, Noonie Bao, Pontus Winnberg of Bloodshy & Avant and Captain Cuts. Early in development, Jepsen was particularly looking forward to meeting Patrik Berger, being a fan of his work on Swedish singer Robyn's 2010 single "Dancing on My Own".[6]

Writing and development[edit]

Under the working title of Music to Clean Your House To, Jepsen conceived the album as "an understated disco, living room dance party thing", an inclination that arose from digging into ABBA's back catalogue. These influences from the '70s era, namely Donna Summer and the Bee Gees, were channeled into an incarnation of the project titled Disco Sweat.[7][8] It was shelved as Berger advised her against working too rigidly, Jepsen expressing, "You might be shooting yourself in the foot and limiting where you can go." She further explained:[9]

"When I showed up with that mission statement that was so pigeonholed, it really wasn't helping the writing process. It was fun to get a few songs that landed naturally in that zone — I think 'Julien' was the most understated disco song that made the album — but I think it was Patrik [Berger] who said, 'It'll be much more fun if you just allow yourself to play in all directions.' I knew at that time that I was gonna take a beat with this thing, so it felt like the right move to just experiment."[10]

By May 2019, Jepsen had written "nearly 200 songs" for the album.[11]

Music and lyrics[edit]

Dedicated is an "collection of forward-thinking"[12] pop,[13][12][14] electropop,[12] synth-pop,[15][16] disco[17][18][19] and dance-pop[11] songs inspired by music from the 1980s[13] and 1990s[20] with elements of house and R&B.[20] Its lyrics span themes of "crushing hard, having anxiety about a new relationship, experiencing true lovesickness, breaking up, and finally coming to terms with being alone".[21]

Promotion[edit]

"Party for One" was released as the lead single on November 1, 2018.[22][23] On February 27, 2019, "Now That I Found You" and "No Drug Like Me" were issued as a double A-side single.[24] "Now That I Found You" was written at a writing camp in Nicaragua.[25] A music video for "Now That I Found You" was released on March 14, 2019.[26] On March 31, 2019, Jepsen teased an upcoming announcement on her social media accounts.[27] On April 1, 2019, the title and release date for Dedicated were announced, along with US dates for The Dedicated Tour.[28][29][30] On April 17, 2019, Jepsen revealed the album's track listing and cover.[31][32] The album was made available to pre-order on April 19, 2019, along with the promotional single "Julien".[33][34] "Julien" was written at Maderas Village, Nicaragua in August 2016.[35]

"Too Much" was released as the album's fourth single on May 9, 2019.[36] Its music video was released on May 17, 2019.[37] On June 28, Jepsen released a Mansionair remix of "No Drug Like Me" as a promotional single to mark the launch of the North American leg of The Dedicated Tour.[38] On September 19, 2019, a video for the album's fourth track, "Want You in My Room", was uploaded to Jepsen's YouTube channel.[39] A live version of the song recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City was released as a single on October 2, 2019, exclusively on Spotify alongside a cover of No Doubt's "Don't Speak" as a B-side.[40] On October 18, 2019, a live video for the album's ninth track, "The Sound", was uploaded to YouTube.[41] Jepsen and the band performed on a dock in a lake in Finland. MTV called the performance "adorably autumnal and simply sublime".[42] The recording was also released on digital retailers as a promotional single.[43]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?7.4/10[44]
Metacritic79/100[45]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[46]
Consequence of SoundB[21]
Exclaim!8/10[47]
The Guardian4/5 stars[17]
The Independent4/5 stars[48]
The Irish Times4/5 stars[49]
NME4/5 stars[13]
Pitchfork7.3/10[15]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[14]
The Times2/5 stars[50]

Dedicated received favorable reviews; aggregating website Metacritic reports a normalized rating of 79, based on 22 critical reviews.[45]

Reviewing the album for AllMusic, Heather Phares gave a rating of 4 and a half stars out of five, writing that "Jepsen is just as committed to her music as she is to the ideal of true love, and the way she's grown without sacrificing her uniqueness makes Dedicated a master class in what a 2010s pop album can be."[46] Laura Snapes of The Guardian gave a rating of 4 stars out of five, stating that "[Jepsen] belts less, but leaves a stronger impression: swooning into the gently funky "Julien"; seductively in control on the looser "No Drug Like Me"; cheeky as Cyndi Lauper on "Want You in My Room"."[17] Giving a rating of 4 stars out of five, Elisa Bray of The Independent describes Dedicated as "an album of polished pop" that "perhaps... will put [Jepsen] at the top where she belongs."[48]

Year-end lists[edit]

Publication
Accolade Rank Ref.
Albumism 50 Best Albums of 2019
10
The Atlantic The 18 Best Albums of 2019
Billboard The 50 Best Albums of 2019
20
CBC Music Top 19 Canadian Albums of 2019
2
Exclaim! 20 Best Pop and Rock Albums of 2019
19
[55]
FLOOD The 25 Best Albums of 2019
20
GQ Magazine The Best Albums of 2019
NPR The 20 Top Albums of 2019
19
GQ Magazine The Best Albums of 2019
Paste The 50 Best Albums of 2019
7
The Skinny Top 20 Albums of 2019 So Far
10
Slant The 25 Best of Albums of 2019
5
[62]
Variety The Best Albums of 2019
10
Uproxx The Best Albums of 2019
8

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number 18 on the US Billboard 200, with 21,000 album-equivalent units, which included 13,000 pure album sales, becoming her third top-twenty album.[65] The following week the album fell to number 182, and was out of the chart the next week, having spent only two weeks on the chart.

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Julien"
Shearer3:54
2."No Drug Like Me"
  • Hill
  • Palmer
3:28
3."Now That I Found You"
3:20
4."Want You in My Room"
Antonoff2:46
5."Everything He Needs"
  • Baran
  • Romans
3:38
6."Happy Not Knowing"
  • Jepsen
  • Hill
  • Palmer
  • Crowe
  • Ledinsky
2:41
7."I'll Be Your Girl"
  • Jepsen
  • Hill
  • Patrik Berger
  • Hill
  • Berger
2:58
8."Too Much"
3:17
9."The Sound"English Breakfast2:51
10."Automatically in Love"
  • Hill
  • Chahayed
  • Cohen[d]
3:33
11."Feels Right" (featuring Electric Guest)
  • Hill
  • Taccone
  • Palmer[c]
2:43
12."Right Words Wrong Time"
  • Hope[c]
  • Chahayed
3:20
13."Real Love"
3:54
Total length:42:23
Target exclusive physical,[66] US digital[67] and international deluxe edition bonus tracks
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
14."For Sure"
  • Berger
  • Winnberg
3:04
15."Party for One"
  • Jepsen
  • Anton Rundberg
  • Julia Karlsson
  • Crowe
  • Captain Cuts
  • Hightower
  • Karlsson[d]
3:03
Total length:48:30
Japanese bonus tracks[68]
No.TitleLength
16."Now That I Found You" (Until Dawn remix)5:23
17."Party for One" (More Giraffes remix)2:46
Total length:56:39
  • "Everything He Needs" contains portions of "He Needs Me" by Harry Nilsson
  • ^[a] signifies an additional producer
  • ^[b] signifies a co-producer
  • ^[c] signifies a producer and vocal producer
  • ^[d] signifies a vocal producer

Personnel[edit]

Credits taken from the album's liner notes.

Performance

  • Carly Rae Jepsen – lead vocals (all tracks), background vocals (track 15)
  • Kyle Shearer – instruments (track 1)
  • Nate Cyphert – background vocals (track 1)
  • John Hill – guitar (track 2, 6-8, 11), keyboards (track 2, 6, 8, 10-11), synth (track 6-8), drums (track 6-8), percussion (track 6, 8), bass (track 6, 8, 11), programming (track 6-8, 10), horns (track 11)
  • Jordan Palmer – guitar (track 2, 6, 8), keyboards (track 2, 6, 8, 11), bass (track 2, 6, 8), drums (track 2, 6, 8, 11), synthesizer (track 2, 6, 8), percussion (track 6, 8), programming (track 6, 8, 11)
  • Captain Cuts – background vocals (track 3), keyboards, drums, programming, instrumentation (track 15)
  • Jack Antonoff – instruments, programming (track 4)
  • Ben Romans – keys (track 5)
  • Amanda Warner – bass (track 5)
  • CJ Baran – programming (track 5)
  • Patrik Berger – bass, guitar, drums (track 7), instruments, programming (track 14)
  • James King – saxophone (track 7)
  • Noah Beresin – piano (track 9)
  • Rogét Chahayed – bass (track 10), keyboards (track 10, 12), programming (track 12)
  • Electric Guest – featured vocals, piano, keyboards, percussion, guitar (track 11)
  • Alex Hope – programming, keyboards (track 12)
  • James Flannigan – programming (track 13)
  • Koz Alxndr – additional programming (track 13)
  • Jim Alxndr – additional programming, saxophone (track 13)
  • Noonie Bao – background vocals (track 14)
  • Pontus Winnberg – instruments, programming (track 14)
  • Julia Karlsson – background vocals (track 15)
  • Hightower – keyboards, drums, programming, instrumentation (track 15)

Technical

  • Kyle Shearer – production (track 1)
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing (tracks 1-4, 14-15)
  • John Hanes – engineering (tracks 1-4, 14-15)
  • Gene Grimaldi – mastering (tracks 1, 4-6, 8-9, 11-14)
  • John Hill – production (tracks 2, 6-8, 10-11)
  • Jordan Palmer – production (tracks 2, 6, 11), vocal production (tracks 6, 11), co-producer (track 8)
  • Rob Cohen – engineering (tracks 2, 6-8, 10), vocal production (tracks 7-8, 10)
  • Chris Gehringer – mastering (tracks 2, 7, 10)
  • Captain Cuts – production (tracks 3, 15), engineering (track 3), arrangement (track 15)
  • ayokay – additional production (track 3)
  • Dave Kutch – mastering (track 3)
  • Jack Antonoff – production (track 4)
  • Laura Sisk – engineering (track 4)
  • Mitch McCarthy – mixing (tracks 5, 11)
  • CJ Baran – engineering (track 5)
  • Jon Castelli – mixing (tracks 6-8, 10)
  • Ingmar Carlson – engineering for mix (tracks 6-8, 10)
  • Blake Mares – engineering (tracks 6-8, 10-11)
  • Patrik Berger – production (tracks 7, 14)
  • English Breakfast – production (track 9)
  • Tony Maserati – mixing (track 9)
  • Miles Comaskey – assistant mix engineering (track 9)
  • Rogét Chahayed – production (tracks 10, 12)
  • Asa Taccone – production (track 11)
  • Alex Hope – production (track 12), vocal production (track 12)
  • Josh Gudwin – mixing (track 12)
  • Elijah Merritt-Hitch – assistant mixing (track 12)
  • James Flannigan (songwriter) – production (track 13), vocal production (track 13)
  • Koz Alxndr – additional production (track 13)
  • Jim Alxndr – additional production (track 13)
  • Daniel Zaidenstadt – vocal production (track 13)
  • Pontus Winnberg – production (track 14)
  • Hightower – production, arrangement (track 15)
  • Julia Karlsson – vocal production (track 15)

Charts[edit]

Chart (2019) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[69] 33
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[70] 16
France Download Albums (SNEP)[71] 31
Irish Albums (IRMA)[72] 39
Japan Hot Albums (Billboard Japan)[73] 34
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[74] 32
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[75] 40
Scottish Albums (OCC)[76] 17
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[77] 71
UK Albums (OCC)[78] 26
US Billboard 200[79] 18

Release history[edit]

List of regions, release dates, showing formats, label, editions and references
Region Date Formats Editions Label Ref.
Various May 17, 2019
  • Standard
  • deluxe
[23]
June 12, 2019 LP Standard [80]

References[edit]

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