Party for One makes it onto #89 for Pitchfork’s Best Songs of 2018:
A lot of people still want a sequel to “Call Me Maybe,” perhaps none more than Carly Rae Jepsen herself. But even though everything she’s released since has followed a similarly winsome template, “Party for One” is Jepsen’s first explicit sequel to that hit. The intros are strikingly similar, the synths in the background play the same melody as the strings of “Call Me Maybe,” and there’s a direct lyrical callback.
Again, Jepsen pairs sweeter-than-average music and blunter-than-average lyrics. For decades, it hasn’t been remarkable for a pop star to refer to masturbation—but it is remarkable to do so while setting the disarming, 1 a.m. “you don’t care about me” text to the sugariest of hooks. “Party for One” sounds like ending credits music for a teen movie that adults love too, the kind where angst is resolved and new love blooms in one glorious party of dancing and cheering and synchronized bursts of spangles. And like all good Carly Rae Jepsen songs, it makes that sound like the very first time. –Katherine St. Asaph