Parmis Sahrapima, Web Co-Editor-in-Chief
Carly Rae Jepsen, a Canadian artist and singer-songwriter, released her viral song “Call Me Maybe” through 604 Records on Sept. 20, 2011. After the song attracted international attention, Jepsen was signed to Schoolboy Records and released her single in the United States. Produced by John Ramsay, “Call Me Maybe” is an upbeat and perky pop song about the troubles that a girl faces when she falls in love at first sight and hopes for her crush to call back.
The lyrics, much like the song itself, are cutesy and start off describing how Jepsen throws a secret wish into a well and looks at the boy while she does it, resulting in Jepsen falling for him. She then says that she would trade her soul for a wish and give up money for a kiss, but she wasn’t looking for these difficulties of falling in love. Now that she has fallen for him, Jepsen gives him her number and asks him to maybe call her. The lyrics are a perfect fit for the the catchy tune, and while the lyrics express the difficulties of how painful it is to be in love and having to wait, the catchy tune and Jepsen’s cheerfulness play a great part in turning that around. Thus, Jepsen makes it seem that falling in love and suffering from it doesn’t have to always be a chaotic experience, but something that we can hope the best from and ultimately enjoy.
The music video for “Call Me Maybe,” produced by Ben Knechtel, starts with Jepsen looking out from her window and staring at her attractive neighbor mowing his lawn. The boy, played by Holden Nowell, is then showed taking off his shirt, causing Jepsen to begin cooling herself down frantically with a book. All of a sudden, Nowell turns to his side and notices that Jepsen has been staring at her, causing Jepsen to quickly hide below her window. The next scene begins after the band’s rehearsal, where her bandmates push Jepsen to go and wash her car. Jepsen then starts doing a series of poses to catch her neighbors attention, but when she does, she ends up falling from the hood of the car. After the rehearsal finishes, Jepsen turns around to write down her number, but she then sees that Nowell has passed a note to one of her male band members asking him to call Nowell. The music video then ends with Nowell being portrayed as being gay, and with Jepsen all upset and confused.
While the song adds a great flavor to pop music, the music video is not that relatable to the song itself. As the song continues with her dealing with problems about falling in love at first sight, the music video only portrays an attractive boy, with Jepsen obsessing over him. Thus, the entire music video shows Jepsen’s attempts to catch this boy’s attention, instead of giving him her number first and then trying to win his attention. Furthermore, the music video ends with a twist that seems unnecessary. The lyrics of the song make it seem that the reason why the boy isn’t calling her back is because he has no interest in her, as portrayed in the lines, “You took your time with the call / I took no time with the fall / You gave me nothing at all / but still, you’re in my way.” However, at the end of the music video, we figure out that the reason why he hasn’t been showing any interest in Jepsen is because he is gay.
The sexuality issues concerning this video are not as controversial as other forms of media can make it to be. Thus, Jepsen portrays the gay Nowell as a greatly attractive and nice boy, someone who has totally won her heart. However, the minor freaking out that the band member experiences when he receives the note from Nowell asking him to call back, along with Jepsen’s puzzled face, makes it seem that Nowell is being mocked for the sudden expression of his inner self, even though it is not meant to be taken that way. It becomes tricky when matters relating to sexual orientation come into play in general songs such as “Call Me Maybe,” and it makes viewers’ reactions more complicated than it should be.
Jepsen was truly successful at making this song unique by parting from the usual clubby or sad ballad songs, and instead bringing perkiness and a youthful and organized rhythm to pop music. The song doesn’t hit the fastest tempos, but it is enough to boost people and emit a positive vibe. For those who greatly enjoy this type of pop music, it is definitely worth buying Jepsen’s album, Curiousity, since many of her songs emitt the same feelings and use the same upbeat style.