Ever since “Call Me Maybe” was the pop megahit of 2012, while you were running the streets with your woes and texting all the right emoji to all the wrong girls, Carly Rae Jepsen was in the lab. With a pen and a pad. Tryna get this damn label off.
Three years later, former one-hit Carly Rae is miraculously back in play with “I Really Like You,” a pop romance anthem for crushers and clingers worldwide. In the single art, Carly Rae Jepsen is snorting a fistful of rosebuds. If Drake songs have you wanting to text your exes, think of Carly Rae Jepsen as the muse who’ll have you poking and chatting your exes-to-be.
As if “Call Me Maybe," with its stalker’s attention to physical detail, weren't thirsty enough, “I Really Like You” is tremendously sensual and, in fact, vulgar on the sly: Late night watching television/But how’d we get in this position?/It’s way too soon. That sort of subtlety will have Jepsen eating Taylor Swift, Meaghan Trainor, Charli XCX’s respective lunches in the subgenre hereby known as Teen Nymphomaniac Pop.
Sippin’ on your lips/Hanging on your bed. **infinite Flex bombs**
The song's catchiness aside, “I Really Like You” is encouraging largely for Carly Rae Jepsen's having lowkey disproved the lately infamous Bieber-Cyrus theory of pop maturation, which posits that any young, formerly twee superstar who wishes to flourish in their later years must resort to twerking and tattoos, as if frenzied tabloid coverage were ever the key to longevity for pop singers. That's word to Britney Spears.
Alas, as anyone could've predicted, Justin Bieber now finds himself locked in figurative rehab via Ellen DeGeneres' couch and studio sessions with Chance the Rapper, with Nick Jonas (of all people) having snatched Bieber's crown. He could've had everything. Likewise, Miley could've been motherfucking Carly Rae Jepsen, who's somehow suddenly on track to become the white girl version of Ne-Yo.
I know, I know, you'd think I'm overstating Carly Rae Jepsen's pop star potential based on this one excellent comeback single; that is, until you peep Jepsen's artist management credits. You rewind this, Scooter Braun's behind this.
Justin Charity is a staff writer at Complex. Follow him @brothernumpsa.