Kiss is one of those pure unbridled pop albums that shamelessly flaunt their exuberant mindlessness in the face of dour critics everywhere. It’s hard to resist such a gorgeous collection of songs that want me to just stand up and enjoy.
Call Me Maybe is one of those fun songs that have become an annoying cliché due to overexposure. Fortunately, there are many other equally sunny feel-good songs here to act as substitutes. Apart from the odd handful of somewhat slower than usual (I hesitate to use the word “ballad” here), most of the songs here suggest that Ms Jepsen could easily replace Britney Spears as the new princess of good times, especially now that Ms Spears has turned into a lifeless zombie. The deluxe edition-only song I Know You Have a Girlfriend, in fact, would be right at home in one of Ms Spears’s earlier albums.
Most of the songs radiate with wholesome infatuation. None of that cringe-inducing peacock-touching stuff like Katy Perry for Ms Jepsen, she prefers the route of G-rated first crushes, sad little break-ups, and innocent summer beach parties just like Taylor Swift. Indeed, Ms Jepsen’s autotuned voice could be seen as anemic as Ms Swift’s vocals, were not for the lively production values that wisely turn Ms Jepsen’s voice into part of the endless party that is this album.
None of the other songs here come close to being as infectious as Call Me Maybe, except perhaps the fabulous Drive (available only in the deluxe edition), but that’s okay, I’m too busy dancing.