Is Canadian Idol as rotten as American Idol? Don’t know, but one of the past contestants on the Canadian version, Carly Rae Jepsen, was handed a great pop song in 2011. It’s the energetic “Call Me Maybe,” which opens with–a pizzicato?–before providing very simple synthesizer-strings for the chorus and delivering its “love” lyric.
‘Hey, I just met you / And this is crazy,” Carly Rae sings and, to be sure, the song is not entirely positive or affirmative. It hints that perhaps the girl would be better off if she were more acquainted with Mr. Ripped Jeans. ”Call me, MAYBE” is the directive. The tune is quite cheery, sure, but small wonder it grinds to an unusual halt.
Of course “Call Me Maybe” is not great in the way that, say, Jewel’s “Foolish Games” or Sheryl Crow’s “My Favorite Mistake” is great. Along with being more sophisticated, these songs are affecting. ”Foolish Games” is a piano-dominated lament with a superb climax, perfect for Jewel’s voice. ”My Favorite Mistake” offers a mean, creaky guitar and a solemn vocal. Here and there the words are rather weak, but the music isn’t–and, like the Jewel number, it’s movingly sung. There is higher merit here than in Jepsen’s ditty, but hooray for all three songs. They’re entertaining.