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BY RANDALL ROBERTS
Los Angeles Times
The season of Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" is winding down, her so-called "wish in a well" has long been thrown.
The addictive ode to obsessive ambivalence, propelled into the heads of millions after a Justin Bieber tweet in the spring, can safely be called the proverbial "song of the summer."
At slumber parties and pool parties, during barbecues, while jogging or making out, in front of YouTube on repeat, remixed and covered thousands of times by amateurs, "Call Me Maybe" has been everywhere. And as such, it joins past-season conquests such as Nelly's uproarious "Hot in Herre" from 2002, Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" ('03) and Rihanna's breakout hit, "Umbrella" ('07).
But summer hasn't been all roses: Recent years have seen the oppressive dumbness of the Black Eyed Peas, Katy Perry's mindless poses and LMFAO's punch-in-the-head party anthems. And two decades ago, summer was all about Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back."
Will Jepsen join Sir Mix-a-Lot and Hoobastank ("The Reason," '04) in history's dustbin? Maybe.
"Call Me" was certainly alive with pleasure but far from a classic, especially considering what else happened this summer in pop music: Frank Ocean, Frank Ocean and Frank Ocean.
Which is to say, Jepsen's light pop track will likely be more of the "Baby Got Back" variety song fondly recalled but more as an asterisk. Few remember 1992 as the summer of Sir Mix-a-Lot. That was the summer Nirvana's "Nevermind" reigned supreme, and much of nonrocker America was obsessed with Dr. Dre's "The Chronic," which didn't contain a song of the summer so much as a vibe of the summer.
Jepsen's light pop gem is better than "Baby Got Back" but isn't as good as "Hot in Herre," the Neptunes-produced banger.
Nor does "Call Me Maybe" touch the sheer power of "Crazy in Love."