Carly Rae Jepsen’s new single could have become the song of the summer, if she hadn’t locked in that title already. That’s because “Good Time,” Jepsen’s new duet with Postal Service-lite songwriter Owl City has the lyrics of will.i.am, the chorus of Dr. Luke, and the generic video of one Rebecca Black—and Carly Rae Jepsen’s brand of giddy, innocent exuberance makes it all work. If you’ve been looking to replace your well-worn copy of “Call Me Maybe,” “Good Time” is constructed to be exactly the worthy successor you’ve been waiting for.
Look at the way the song opens with a familiar story, and then subverts it, by removing anything that’s not squeaky clean: The singer wakes up after what must have been a long night out partying (he’s slept in his clothes, he has a song stuck in his head), but he’s not hungover. In fact, he’s the opposite. While Katy Perry wakes up with “a stranger in my bed” and “a pounding in my head,” and Ke$ha wakes up brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack, here the singer wakes up “on the right side of the bed.”
Aside from the fact that that’s about the most clever line in the song (the runner-up would be “Hands up if you’re down to get down”), the rest of the summer anthem follows through on that promise. Or just look at the title, which signals exactly what the song is about and exactly how baldly and broadly it’s aiming to achieve it. Musically, while written by Owl City collaborators Adam Young and Matt Thiessen with beat-maker Brian Lee, it follows Dr. Luke’s old tried-and-true formula from the soaring four-on-the-floor chorus all the way to the “whoa-oh-whoa-oh” shout-along hook straight out of (again) “California Gurls” or “Tik Tok.” When a children’s choir is tossed in at the end, it’s a bit gratuitous, but in this wholesome song why not: “Good Time” is a guilty pleasure, without the guilt.
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