Good Time Owl City and Carly Rae JepsenRecord company politics and synergy, apparently, make for duet bedfellows strange as politics does.

"Good Time"
Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen

Carly Rae Jepsen couldn't be much hotter. I mean that professionally!

The twenty-something tween popstress' "Call Me Maybe" topped airplay and sales charts in the U.S. and internationally; its video, if one wants to put a positive moral spin on it, encourages young heterosexual women to make sure the fellas they approach romantically are, in fact, likewise attracted to their biologically complementary gender. And the song itself is earcandy so crazy tasty to have inspired countless YouTube'd remakes, mash-up's, memes and other online, viral what-not's nowadays kids are putting out on the interweb. That Jepsen shares a manager with her fellow Canadian, Justin Bieber, may play a significant part in her success thus far as well.

And has it really been three years since Adam "Owl City" Young fomented affection and disdain in roughly equal measure with his own international chart-topper, "Fireflies"? Indeed, it has. Since that breakthrough, the Christian Minnesotan has plied his hand at following up that success with mixed approaches and results, some of both geared to evangelical bookstores and radio. OK, guy, go for what you know, and since you know the Lord, all right then!

Record company politics and synergy, apparently, make for duet bedfellows strange as politics does. Considering Young's faith singleness and Jepsen's femaleness and, erm, singleness, their fellowship remains free of what may most be associated with beds when it comes to guys and gals. And that's as it should be. Kind of.

Of course, Young and Jepsen should be having their "Good Time" fully clothed, vertical and not joined at their groins. And they do in the tune and its accompanying vid'. But, could he singing about "getting down" in any more neutered a manner? Those blessed with a knowledge of pop music history extending back six decades will recall the sexless havoc wreaked by another Godly young man , Pat Boone, on the works of the often wildly libidinous Little Richard. For comparison, check out this- -against this- make your own call as to who better sublimated his baby-making energy into memorable song.

This review, which I debated writing because Young seems like a genuinely OK guy, could follow rabbit holes leading to racial questions and other matters around the periphery of aesthetics. Maybe someone else should write that treatise. Let's instead, merely focus on the matter of Young's vocal sublimation of his masculinity. Or rather his lack of same. Dude, you're singing and starring in a promotional clip with a not unattractive young woman; could you at least bring some sexual tension to the proceedings?!

It doesn't seem he can. In the pantheon of danceable synth-pop to which Owl City is heir, much of the best of it concerns itself with sexual politics, from The Pet Shop Boys' and Erasure's slightly distanced commentaries on how AIDS has ravaged and redefined the negotiations of homosexual fornication once taken for granted by those in that unfortunate lifestyle, to more man-woman concerns articulated by Yaz(oo), La Roux and Hurts. Another option is the melding of human and machine into something so above such base drives as copulation as to make it a commentary on humanity (Kraftwerk, Gary Numan) or using the technology to create the expression of humanoid carnal impulses (Zapp and, urgh, T-Pain). That could be another stepping off point for a discussion of race, pop and sexuality, but it shan't be happening here.

"Good Time" the song and video parallel each other well in that in both Jepsen and Young appear together but don't appear nor sound particularly engaged with one another. Maybe each wants an interlocutor who acknowledges their basic physiological differences?

-Jamie Lee Rake
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