REVIEW

All sugar ‘n’ nice but no spice

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07:06 PM August 12th, 2013

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By: Allan Policarpio, August 12th, 2013 07:06 PM

CARLY Rae Jepsen’s cutesy charm endears her to the young crowd. wilbros live

Carly Rae Jepsen—whose international smash hit “Call Me Maybe” inspired countless covers, parodies and spinoffs online—is all sugar and everything nice, but sadly lacking in spice. For an hour or so, the sprightly Canadian singer filled the Smart Araneta Coliseum with danceable cookie-cutter pop tunes performed with unbridled enthusiasm and playfulness.

In a blue animal-print blazer, a black top and a pair of shorts that sparkled as she pranced onstage, Jepsen opened her one-night show with the synth-laden “This Kiss,” which she followed up with “I Know You Have a Girlfriend,” then her second most popular song, “Good Time”—recorded with American electronica band Owl City for her second studio album, “Kiss.”

Between songs, Jepsen, in a bubbly speaking voice, engaged the crowd in light banter. Her fans are mostly giddy “tweens” and teenage girls. They wore glowing bunny ears. From time to time, Jepsen had them scrambling for their phones and tablets, having promised that she would retweet their concert photos.

At one point, her mic malfunctioned. There was awkward silence, prompting the singer “to fake tap dance.” The audience lapped it up.

Most of the songs in her repertoire were culled from “Kiss,” and the concert was fairly straightforward—no surprises, no costume changes, no encore.

The singer churned out catchy ditties like “Turn it Up,” “Tug of War” and “Tonight I’m Getting Over You.” The rest sounded repetitive, lost in a sea of generic bubblegum pop that quickly lost its flavor. Thus, Jepsen’s acoustic rendition of “Almost Said It,” in which she traded her sweet vocals for a warmer tone—was a breath of fresh air.

With her child-like stage antics, it was hard to believe that Jepsen is just three years shy of turning 30. More than the songs, it’s Jepsen’s cutesy, girl-next-door charisma that endears her to the young crowd. This couldn’t be more obvious when Jepsen ended her show by plucking four giddy audience members to join her onstage to perform the song everyone was waiting for. “Call Me Maybe” elicited the night’s loudest sing-along.

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