"Call Me Maybe" is a pop song performed by Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen. It was released in late 2011. The title "Call Me Maybe" is not a request to be referred to as "Maybe" but comes from the chorus:

Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, So here's my number, call me maybe

Other than its status as an oft-repeated pop song, the song has gained meme status on the internet, with its chorus used as the template upon which many phrases have been hung. I was aware of the song's status as a meme before I actually heard the song.

The song itself is terrible. I usually don't use blanket condemnations for pop music. Pop music is what it is, and there have been many simplistic pop songs that, no matter how stupid they were, managed to connect with our simpler feelings. What could capture the zeitgeist of the mid-80s better than Madonna's Material Girl? But Carly Rae Jepsen is not a Madonna. The song isn't even hilariously bad enough to succeed as "so bad it's good". Its just bad and boring, a predictable story of a crush told in standard pop style. When I read the lyrics, before I heard the song, I thought that it was perhaps a song showing vulnerability or wistfulness, but the singing doesn't communicate that.

It is disappointing that even at the task of writing a stupid, simple song, we can't do better than this.

♪♫ Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy
But here's my number, so call me maybe
And all the other boys, try to chase me
But here's my number, so call me maybe? ♫


I first heard this song on a news segment on NPR -- not a common place to hear a vapid pop song, and admittedly, they only played a few clips. They seemed pretty certain that Call Me Maybe, by the Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen might be 'the song of the summer' -- which strangely, NPR tends to think is a great news story to roll out every year.

The song has two claims to fame. First, the song was 'discovered' by Justin Bieber. Carly Rae Jepsen didn't have much exposure in America (or much of anywhere), but fellow Canadian Bieber enjoyed the song enough to Tweet that he liked it -- and that was enough to give it worldwide exposure.

The other hook is the video. It is, make no mistake, a very stupid video. A cute girl sees a cute guy working on the neighbor's lawn. (We know that she is cute because her bangs cover her eyes, and we know that he is cute because he is on steroids and shirtless). She is shy, but gets her rock band to set up in her garage and play a song asking him to call her. He comes up and hands his number to the lead guitarist -- a guy! It's a weak joke, but apparently it was enough to make the video edgy. NPR takes it as a sign of the creeping liberalism amongst today's youth (they approve).

So... the actual song is pretty awful, but perhaps not so bad as many claim. The music is catchy, and has dramatically swooping violins and a good beat. I am not a music critic, but I enjoyed it more than most music on pop stations this summer. Unfortunately, the lyrics are particularly weak, even for a summer hit. It actually opens up with a couple of decent verses -- rapid fire and low-content, but acceptable -- but they are quickly disposed of, basically being over in the first 30 seconds. Literally. And the chorus is repeated 5 and 1/2 times. It does get old fast.

But you don't have to take my word for all this. Give it a listen yourself.

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