Carly Rae Jepsen clearly didn’t graduate in the same pop-superstar class as Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and the like. You might still have ‘Call Me Maybe’ in your head, but it’s doubtful you can name any other tracks from that record. And while her follow up E.MO.TION proved a critical darling, it didn’t quite crack the mainstream in the way, say, anything by the artists mentioned did. It’s hard to put your finger on quite why this is when listening to her latest record Dedicated.

It’s not hard to crave the clubby bass of ‘Too Much’ and the staccato delivery of “I’d do anything to get to the rush/ now I’m drinking and I’m drinking too much,” or the cheeky 80s cheer of ‘Want You In My Room’.  They’re seriously sugary tracks filled with all the pristine production you’d expect from an album boasting the likes of Jack Antonoff and Captain Cuts on production assistance.

Despite this surprising lack of limelight, Jepsen has carved out a strident following and those fans will be satisfied by all of the bombastic emoting she’s doing here. First hint of new material ‘Party For One’ is a masturbatory self-love anthem that sees her own her heartbreak with the triumphant call of “you don’t want my love if you don’t care about me/ I’ll just dance by myself/ back on my beat.”  This revelatory attitude towards heartbreak is refreshingly primed for the era of empowerment, especially as she breathily delivers lines like, “like pressure points my love can ease him in my hands,” on the sultry ‘Everything He Needs’.

Jepsen's record is a glossy melodrama full of sweeping synths, pitchy keyboard twangs, and bubbling back burner vocals that exude positivity. Despite the gut churning nature of opener 'Julien' which finds Jepsen "forever haunted by our time," Dedicated is a slice of retro optimist sunshine in the bleak grey mists of modernity.

The singer wrote over 200 tracks in the run up to this record, and the constant re-working of the track list is evident in the multiple personalities on show here. The girl next door of 'Happy Not Knowing', the struggling lover in the subdued 'The Sound' - or conversely the satisfied lover on the sax-laden, the Bruno Mars-esque 'Feels Right'. The whole cast is here and they're all fabulous, it must be said, but what sometimes feels like is missing from Carly Rae Jepsen's latest album is Carly Rae Jepsen.

"I need to get a hold of you now," she sings on 'Real Love', and this is exactly how she leaves me feeling. We can listen to a Taylor track and know her, and that's what we want from our pop stars these days. So while Jepsen has once again delivered a stunning hook-filled record that frankly gets catchier every time you hear it, Dedicated may not quite satisfy our lust for connection.