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Call Me Maybe

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“Call Me Maybe” is a song by Carly Rae Jepsen from her first EP Curiosity. It is also included on Carly’s latest album, Kiss; it is track #3. The song was written by Jepsen and Tavish Crowe as a folk song, but its genre was modified to pop following the production by Josh Ramsay. It was released as the lead single from the EP on September 20, 2011, through 604 Records. After pop singers Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez tweeted about the song, Jepsen gained international attention and was signed to Schoolboy Records, releasing her single in the United States through the label. Musically, “Call Me Maybe” is an upbeat teen pop track that draws influences from dance-pop. Lyrically, the track alludes to the inconvenience that a love at first sight brings to a girl who hopes for a call back from a crush.

The song received generally positive reviews from contemporary critics, who praised its composition and clever lyrical content. "Call Me Maybe" has attained commercial success worldwide, reaching number one in Australia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, New Zealand, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, while peaking inside the top three in Austria, Belgium (Flanders & Wallonia), Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. After reaching the top position in Canada, Jepsen became only the fifth Canadian artist to do so in her home country since 2007. In the United States, the track has reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Top 40 Pop Songs chart. The song is the first number one by a Canadian female artist on the Billboard Hot 100 chart since 2007's "Girlfriend" by Avril Lavigne. “Call Me Maybe” was #1 for nine weeks.

An accompanying music video was directed by Ben Knechtel, and portrays Jepsen trying to gain attention from the attractive boy next door, who is revealed to actually be attracted to a male band member at the close of the story. As part of promotion for the song, the singer has performed the track on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where she made her US television debut, and at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards. "Call Me Maybe" has already been covered by several artists, including Katy Perry, Fun, Big Time Rush, R5, Enter Shikari, Ben Howard and parodied by the Cookie Monster. It is also covered by the Kidz Bop Kids on Kidz Bop 22.

Background

"Call Me Maybe" was initially written by Jepsen and Tavish Crowe as a folk song, while they were on tour. Jepsen stated that the writing process was easy, and that she wasn't "over-thinking it. We brought in Josh [Ramsay], and he helped us kind of pop-ify it." The following days, she recorded the track at the Umbrella Studios in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. Jepsen later stated that it is "basically a pick up. What person hasn't wanted to approach somebody before and stopped because it's scary? I know I have." "Call Me Maybe" had been first released in Canada only through 604 Records on September 20, 2011. In January 2012, pop singers Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez were in the country and heard the track on the mainstream radio. After they tweeted about it on their personal profiles, Jepsen instantly gained international attention, and got signed by Scooter Braun to his Schoolboy Records. Braun revealed that Bieber has "never jumped out and promoted an artist like this before. He sends me different YouTube videos of unsigned artists that he'd like to work with, but never someone who already had a song out and is on the radio." Worldwide distribution of the single was done through Interscope Records.

Composition

Written by Jepsen and Crowe, with additional writing and song production by Josh Ramsay, "Call Me Maybe" is an upbeat track that draws influences from dance-pop and disco. Lyrically, the song describes the "infatuation and inconvenience of a love at first sight," as described by Bill Lamb of About.com. During the pre-chorus, Jepsen states how she suddenly becomes attracted to a person, singing, "Your stare was holding, ripped jeans, skin was showing/Hot night, wind was blowing/Where you think you’re going, baby?" As the chorus begins, the background incorporates synthesized string chords, and Jepsen explains that her feelings towards the guy are unexpected, "Hey, I just met you, And this is crazy, But here's my number, So call me maybe."

Critical reception

"Call Me Maybe" received generally positive reviews from contemporary critics. Bill Lamb of About.com stated that Jepsen is one of the highlights of Canadian music, and added that although some may dismiss it as "fluffy", the track "is the kind of song that pop fans will take to heart." Rolling Stone journalist Melody Lau considered "Call Me Maybe" "a sugary dance-pop tune ... about hoping for a call back from a crush," while Kat George of VH1 described it as a eurodance tune and further commented that if Jepsen "keeps turning out little ditties like 'Call Me Maybe', we’re facing a brand new addition for summer." Emma Carmichael of Gawker did a long review on the track, which she described as the "new perfect pop song." Carmichael further added that the song is "flawless" and that "we will be virtually incapable of escaping the song and its strident disco strings and that horribly catchy hook." Nicole James of MTV revealed that "Call Me Maybe" is probably the catchiest song written by Jepsen and Crowe, with additional writing and song production by Josh Ramsay, "Call Me Maybe" is an upbeat track that draws influences from dance-pop and disco. Lyrically, the song describes the "infatuation and inconvenience of a love at first sight," as described by Bill Lamb of About.com. During the pre-chorus, Jepsen states how she suddenly becomes attracted to a person, singing, "Your stare was holding, ripped jeans, skin was showing/Hot night, wind was blowing/Where you think you’re going, baby?" As the chorus begins, the background incorporates synthesized string chords, and Jepsen explains that her feelings towards the guy are unexpected, "Hey, I just met you, And this is crazy, But here's my number, So call me maybe."

Melody Lau of Rolling Stone wrote that "Call Me Maybe" is a "Taylor Swift meets Robyn" song. Jon O'Brien of Allmusic stated that the songs of Curiosity recalls the bubblegum pop era of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, and added that "Call Me Maybe" is a combination of teen pop and synth pop with "a chorus that just about straddles that fine line between sugary sweet and sickly." Tiffany Lee of Yahoo! Music deemed it as an instant summer hit, and added that "Call Me Maybe" has "a good beat, great melody and catchy lyrics; something you and your friends can belt out in the car while driving to the beach, a party, and pretty much anywhere." Jon Caramanica of The New York Times wrote that the song is "breezy and sweet, an eyelash-fluttering flirtation run hard through the Disney-pop model of digitized feelings and brusque, chipper arrangements."

Nicole James of MTV said, "'Call Me Maybe' is the catchiest song I have ever heard in my life." She added, "I don't even want to tell you what the play count is in my iTunes for that song, but the moment you press play you're sucked in." The Village Voice's Maura Johnston deemed it as an "utterly earwormy" song. RedEye's Emily Van Zandt began her review of the track saying, "screw you, Internet. Thanks to a couple of posts on blogs that I refuse to own up to following, my afternoon has been dedicated to Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Call Me Maybe'." Van Zandt continued to state that "all I know is that I have co-dependency issues when it comes to my music. When it's sad, I'm sad. When it's angry, I'm angry. And when it's ridiculously over-produced, up-tempo bubblegum pop with terrible lyrics on a beautiful day in Chicago when I'm wearing pink pants, I just kind of want to start skipping around handing my number out to random bros, you know?"

"Call Me Maybe" achieved commercial success in Canada, and later in the United States. The song is Jepsen's third single to enter the Canadian Hot 100, debuting at number 97 for the week of October 22, 2011. For the week of February 11, 2012, "Call Me Maybe" reached number one in its seventeenth week on the Canadian Hot 100. By doing so, Jepsen became the fifth Canadian artist ever to reach the top position on the new chart in her home country, after Avril Lavigne, Nelly Furtado, Nikki Yanofsky, and Young Artists for Haiti. Jepsen commented that she feels "ultimately honored to be mentioned among those names. These are all artists I look up to in a big way. I have their music, they've been on my records since I can remember. It's really hard to believe. It's cool because at the same time, it's all that I've all ever been working for." The song has since been certified 4x Platinum by the Music Canada (MC), and has sold over 320,000 units of the track in the country.

In the United States, the song entered the top ten on the chart the week April 14, 2012 at number #10. The song reached number one on the week ending June 23, 2012. The song remained at #1 for nine weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, for the week ending August 4, 2012. The song made her the first Canadian female artist to have a number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in five years since Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend", which reached number one the week ending May 5, 2007. The song is only the fourth song that was seven weeks at number one by an artist from Canada tied with "Sh-Boom" by The Crew-Cuts, "Informer" by Snow featuring MC Shan, and "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" by Bryan Adams.

Three weeks earlier, it had reached number one on the Digital Songs component chart. The song is Jepsen's first entry on the Billboard charts in the country, which made her the first lead woman since Ke$ha with her single "Tik Tok" to have her debut single peak at such position. The track also reached number one on the Top 40 Pop Songs chart, and was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). As of early July 2012, "Call Me Maybe" has sold 4.31 million copies in the US.

"Call Me Maybe" debuted at number 39 in Australia on the chart issue dated March 18, 2012, and four weeks later, rose to number one. It remained at the top for five consecutive weeks, before falling to number two. The song has since been certified quintuple Platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), denoting shipments of 350,000 copies. The song also made its debut on the country's chart for the week of March 5, 2012 at number 22, reaching the top position four weeks later. It remained at the top for five consecutive weeks, before falling to number two. By May 2012, "Call Me Maybe" had been certified double Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ), surpassing digital sales of 30,000 units.

"Call Me Maybe" performed well in Europe also, peaking at number one in France, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Poland, Scotland, and Switzerland. The song debuted in Ireland on March 15, 2012. The song went to number one the following week, March 22, 2012, and stayed consecutively at number one for four weeks while attaining top five positions in Austria, Belgium (Flanders), Germany, Netherlands and Norway. In the United Kingdom, the song debuted at number one on April 8, 2012 (for the week ending April 14, 2012), where it stayed for 4 weeks, selling nearly 107,000 copies in the first week. The song became the third-fastest selling single of the 2012 in the country, behind DJ Fresh and Rita Ora’s "Hot Right Now" and Cheryl Cole’s "Call My Name". "Call Me Maybe" remained at number one for a second week on April 15, 2012, keeping Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend" from reaching such position after outselling it two to one. In its fourth week on the chart, the song stayed at number one with 99,569 copies sold after three consecutive weeks selling over 100,000 copies. The song has become a top-ten and top-five hit in 29 countries. The song became number one in 19 countries.

Promotion

Live performances

Jepsen has performed "Call Me Maybe" live a few times, while playing an unreleased intro to the song on some selected dates. She made her US television debut during The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Emily Exton of Pop Dust summarized the performance, writing, "delivering fairly true-to-radio vocals that seemed to overcome any lingering nerves performing for millions of viewers (and your sorta boss?) might bring on, Carly left the security of the mike stand to move beneath the oversized dandelion lights during the final moments of her euphoric head-bobber." On March 26, 2012, Jepsen visited WBBM-FM's Morning Show and performed two tracks of her EP, "Call Me Maybe" and "Curiosity". The singer also performed an acoustic version of the song on Kidd Kraddick in the Morning and KISS 92.5. On May 2, 2012 on a visit to Australia she performed "Call Me Maybe" on the popular TV show Sunrise. On May 20, 2012, Jepsen performed the track on the 2012 Billboard Music Awards. On June 9, 2012, Jepsen performed the track with Justin Bieber on the Capital FM Summertime Ball 2012 at Wembley Stadium, London. She also performed the song on CBBC show Friday Download on 27 April 2012, even though the show is pre-recorded. On December 31, 2012, Carly performed both “Call Me Maybe” and “This Kiss” on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. On Friday, June 14, 2013, she performed it and two other songs, “Good Time” and “Tonight I'm Getting Over You”, on ABC’s Good Morning America.

Lip dubs and cover versions

A number of parody and lip dub videos have been released throughout the internet since the song's release. Big Time Rush, Ashley Tisdale, Justin Bieber, and Selena Gomez had uploaded a parody video to YouTube and instantly turned viral, having over 44 million views as of July 5, 2012. Kayla Upadhyaya of The Michigan Daily thought that the viral video is "far superior to the actual music video put out by Carly Rae Jepsen. The official music video looks like any ol' average pop vid, with the staple shots of Carly rocking out in a garage, observing a cute boy from afar and sexily washing a car – it’s patently uninspiring, without anything of interest until the final twist. Carly Rae and her crew simply don’t possess the energy and uninhibited goofiness of the fake mustachioed Bieber & Co." On July 26, 2012, The USA Olympic Swim Team posted a YouTube video of the team members doing a lip dub to the song.

Pop singer Katy Perry also released a similar viral video with her friends on April 19, 2012, while hosts and members of the E! TV series Fashion Police released theirs on May 4, 2012. On May 23, 2012, a compilation from several fan videos was uploaded to Jepsen's VEVO page. The Harvard University baseball team uploaded a lip-sync video to the song on YouTube on May 6, 2012, while on the way to a game over spring break. As of July 28, 2012, it had been viewed over 15,000,000 times. The Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders have also made a cover of the song that has garnered over 7.46 million views as of June 28, 2012.

On 11 July 2012, English football club Crystal Palace released a cover version, in which the Crystal Palace cheerleaders squad, "the Crystals", sang and danced along to "Call Me Maybe". A promotional campaign to encourage the sale of season tickets at the club, it was dubbed "Call Me Crystals". The cover has been viewed more than one million times to date.

In July 2012, members of the United States Armed Forces stationed in Kandahar International Airport, Afghanistan had released another lip dub video with the idea to show troops in a more positive, light-hearted way. There has also been an autotune satire version produced from clips of Barack Obama. New York Mets infielder Justin Turner has also used the song as his at-bat music at home games.

On 20 July 2012, the cast of Hollywood Heights—Cody Longo, Brittany Underwood, Carlos Ponce, Melissa Ordway, Jama Williamson, Meredith Salenger, and more—made a cover version of them lip-synching and dancing along to a poppy tune on the set of the show. It only has a few thousand views, although that is based on a day's time (July 21, 2012). On 23 July 2012, a parody video was released featuring students from Matau Primary School, in Zimbabwe, which was rebuilt thanks to a $1.5 million donation from Oprah Winfrey. On July 30, 2012, a mashup video featuring NASA videos of the Science Laboratory was posted, just a week before the Curiosity rover landed on Mars at 1:31 am EDT on August 6, 2012.

A number of music covers also emerged since the song's release. A disco version was released by Stacks of Wax featuring Nick Wells. There has also been a parody of a "stalker" girlfriend, called Overly Attached Girlfriend "Call Me Crazy" with nearly 1.2 million views. On July 3, 2012, Mabson Enterprises released a digital-only compilation on Bandcamp comprising 43 versions of the track remixed or covered including tracks by Dan Deacon, Ear Pwr, and Sean Carnage.

On 10 July 2012, the Sesame Workshop released a parody, called 'Share it Maybe', featuring Cookie Monster following an ever elusive bowl of cookies around an office, looking wistfully at them through windows, and other actions meant to evoke the original video. It shows one of the office workers stopping to watch the original video on her work computer. A cover of the song released by Tribute Team peaked at number 49 on the UK Singles Chart for one week. American indie pop band fun. covered "Call Me Maybe" in an acoustic form at an in-studio session for Dutch radio's 3FM. On May 8, 2012, folk artist Ben Howard covered the song for BBC Radio. Renditions from other notable people include James Franco and Colin Powell. On 24 March 2012 YouTube sensations Cimorelli posted a cover of Carly Rae Jepsen's song "Call Me Maybe". By 11 July 2012 it has received over 18 million views, their most viewed video. During the 2012 Summer Olympics, the USA Olympic Team made a video of themselves singing "Call Me Maybe". On 30 July 2012, video game developer Her Interactive, well known for the Nancy Drew computer games, added a new video parody of the song about Nancy Drew, titled "Call Me Nancy, Second Chance Me", a reference to the "Second Chance" feature in its games.

Track listings

  • Digital download
  1. "Call Me Maybe" – 3:13
  • Digital EP
  1. "Call Me Maybe" – 3:13
  2. "Both Sides Now" – 3:53
  3. "Talk To Me" – 2:50
  4. "Call Me Maybe" (Instrumental) – 3:13
  • CD single
  1. "Call Me Maybe" – 3:13
  2. "Both Sides Now" – 3:53
  • Remix EP
  1. "Call Me Maybe" (Manhattan Clique Remix) – 5:56
  2. "Call Me Maybe" (Almighty Club Mix) – 6:58
  3. "Call Me Maybe" (10 Kings.VS. Ollie Green Remix) – 3:08
  4. "Call Me Maybe" (Coyote Kisses Remix) – 4:46

Charts and certifications

Weekly charts

Chart (2012) Peak

position

Australia (ARIA) 1
Austria (Austria Top 75) 3
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders) 2
Belgium (Ultratop 40 Wallonia) 2
Canada (Canadian Hot 100) 1
Costa Rica (Costa Rica Top 40) 1
Czech Republic (IFPI) 1
Denmark (Tracklisten) 1
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista) 1
France (SNEP) 1
Germany (Media Control AG) 3
Hungary (Mahasz Rádiós Top 40)[101] 1
Ireland (IRMA) 1
Israel (Media Forest) 3
Italy (FIMI) 2
Japan (Japan Hot 100) 24
Luxembourg (Luxembourg Digital Songs) 1
Mexico Airplay Chart (Billboard International) 47
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 2
New Zealand (RIANZ) 1
Norway (VG-lista) 3
Poland (Polish Airplay Top 5) 1
Scotland (Official Charts Company) 1
Slovakia (IFPI) 1
South Africa (Mediaguide) 1
Spain (PROMUSICAE) 10
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) 2
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 1
US Billboard Hot 100 1
US Pop Songs (Billboard) 1
US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard) 1
US Adult Pop Songs (Billboard) 2
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard) 6
Venezuela Pop Rock General 1

Monthly charts

Chart (2012) Peak

position

Brazil (Billboard Hot 100 Airplay) 44
Brazil (Billboard Hot Pop Songs) 17

Certifications

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA) 7× Platinum 490,000^
Belgium (BEA) Gold 15,000*
Canada (Music Canada) 5× Platinum 400,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark) Platinum 30,000^
Germany (BVMI) Platinum 300,000^
Italy (FIMI) Gold 15,000*
Mexico (AMPROFON) Platinum 60,000^
New Zealand (RIANZ) 3× Platinum 45,000*
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland) Platinum 30,000x
United Kingdom (BPI) 1× Platinum 850,000
United States (RIAA) 4× Platinum 4,310,000

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history

Country / region Date Format Label
Canada September 20, 2011 Digital download 604
Europe February 20, 2012 Schoolboy, Interscope
United States February 22, 2012
Brazil February 24, 2012
Germany
United Kingdom March 30, 2012 Digital EP
United States April 17, 2012 CD single Schoolboy, Interscope
Germany April 27, 2012
Taiwan June 10, 2012 Digital download Universal Music Taiwan

References

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