Carly Rae Jepsen appeared on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert (TDC) series on Monday. CRJ just kicked off the fourth and final leg of her Dedicated tour yesterday, performing in Sydney, Australia. The tour finishes a week from today after a total of four shows in Australia and New Zealand, and it marks the end of an almost eight month long tour for her new album that spanned North America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania.
Since she’s touring right now, NPR probably recorded this sometime between the third and fourth legs of her tour. Which means that by the time she recorded Tiny Desk, CRJ would’ve performed two of the three songs, “Now That I Found You” and “Want You In My Room”, like a hundred times. (The third song, “The Sound”, wasn’t part of her tour’s set list, which seems strange to me because it’s one of the strongest songs on the album.)
The reason I point this out is because when the Tiny Desk concert starts, it’s a little shaky. CRJ is known for bringing a bubbly energy and happiness to her performances and her music. I didn’t feel that energy when the concert started. The arrangement was cool, but something was off. For comparison, take a look at Lizzo’s Tiny Desk, or even Taylor Swift’s from last month.
Thankfully, CRJ picks up the energy midway through the first song, and she really hits her stride by the time she gets to the “The Sound”. However, even though I was bopping along at the end, this wasn’t CRJ’s best performance. Not even close to it. Which is kind of understandable. She’s been touring for seven months. Maybe she and the band are tired. But that leads me to another question: why even do Tiny Desk?
This is what’s really puzzling to me. Carly has nothing to promote – her album is out, and I doubt we’re getting another one any time soon (unless she feels like dipping into the 200 songs she already has written). The tour is on its way and while another leg might be starting, people have already booked their tickets. And unlike when Taylor Swift’s Tiny Desk was released, Grammy nominations have been out for a week. So what was the goal here? If the concert was just for fun, why would she do it in the middle of a tour when her vocals and her energy aren’t optimal? And if it’s to build buzz for something in the works, was it successful?
I’m puzzled by the whole thing to be honest. You know what I’m not puzzled by though? That blazer. Obsessed. It’s giving me Clueless vibes. It works with the short hair. It’s perfectly dressed up and dressed down with the white crew neck. It’s perfect…AND THEN SHE TAKES IT OFF. Not cool Carly, not cool. You can’t give my gay heart life and take it away like that.
Attached - Carly at the ARIA Awards and Louis Vuitton Flagship Store Re-Opening today in Sydney.