Passive-Aggressive Breakup Pop | “Let’s Be Friends”- Carly Rae Jepsen

Kyle Davidson, Writer/Volunteer

So, maybe your Valentine’s didn’t go quite as planned. Maybe your date showed up an hour late, or didn’t show up at all. Maybe they did show up but they weren’t aware it was a date and now things are awkward. If any of these scenarios sound familiar then it’s time to take a page from one of Canada’s most beloved pop stars.

2019’s Dedicated brought Carly Rae Jepsen back into the modern music scene. However, her fans have come back to witness Carly Rae in an era of pop that’s vastly different than when she first came into the spotlight. Released exactly one week before Valentine’s Day, “Let’s Be Friends” captures the essence of politely breaking off a relationship that you have no intention of maintaining. By including clichés in the lyrics like “That little phrase it isn’t you baby, it’s me,” and “It’s over when it’s over,” the song maintains a playful atmosphere while reflecting a more honest side of how we handle the feelings of others. The chorus itself acts as the most relatable part of the song saying “It’s cool, we can just pretend we’re friends and never speak again.”

In terms of instrumentation, this track catches the audience from the beginning. Fast-paced acoustic guitar hooks the listener before the vocals lead them through the rest of the song. Jepsen’s bright and sweet voice, paired with her cruel-to-be-kind lyricism, are ultimately what carries the bulk of the song. However, there are a number of smaller little accents that really help to make the song as a whole. From the echoed “Never speak again[s,]” in the chorus to the little touches of synth highlighting the vocals, each of these little accents work alongside the major components to create a break-up song that is so fun it’s hard to keep from smiling. 

While it’s unclear at the moment if there are any other new tracks in the works, that doesn’t mean Jepsen is going back into hiding. She will be performing at Coachella this year on April 11 and 18, in addition to several shows in San Francisco and the Pacific Northwest.

Feature image by Greg Chow; retrieved from Rolling Stone.