Release Date: March 17th 2023
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- emails i can’t send
- Read your Mind
- Tornado Warnings
- because i liked a boy
- Already Over
- how many things
- bet u wanna
- Fast Times
- skinny dipping
- Bad for Business
- things i wish you said
One of the rising pop stars at the moment is Sabrina Carpenter. An actress as well (Sabrina has starred in films such as Clouds, Tall Girl, Tall Girl 2, and Work It), Sabrina has inspired, comforted, encouraged, and provided us all with thought-provoking and confronting pop songs. In my own opinion, Sabrina is a different brand of pop- not the kind of superficial and party-pop that is permeated all throughout with expletives galore, but rather a deeper pop that discusses real issues, or at least a care-free pop that is just soothing and calming to listen to. I’ve known this for a while, and thus at the beginning of 2021, I personally blogged about Sabrina and spoken at length as to why I believe she is one of today’s most influential ‘up and coming’ artists. With the release of Sabrina’s brand-new album emails i can’t send which released in July 2022; I thought- why not voice my thoughts on Sabrina’s latest project? Sabrina may have been underrated before, but with this album, she is sure stepping into stardom and fame and popularity very, very quickly!
If you want to read my review of Sabrina’s album, you can do so here. Also in the past, I’ve voiced my brief thoughts about Sabrina’s previous singles “Skin”, “Skinny Dipping” and “Fast Times”; and about how Sabrina as a singer and as an artist is evolving and pushing the boundaries on what pop music sounds like and what pop music should be about lyrically and thematically. I’ve also noticed that with Sabrina in the past, she has also sung about pertinent, relevant and relatable issues other than just ‘having a good time’- songs like “Thumbs”, “Eyes Wide Open”, “Why”, “In My Bed”, “Pushing 20”, “Exhale”, “Sue Me” and “Can’t Blame A Girl For Trying” all come to mind when thinking about songs that aren’t just superfluous and are all about gratuity and excess. I mean, sure it’s fine to have songs about partying once in a while, but songs about deeper issues and real things people are going through- that’s where the lyrical goodness is found! As for Sabrina’s new album, it is jam packed with 13 tracks of pure pop, yet it is thought-provoking and nonetheless confronting. “Fast Times” and “Skinny Dipping” are both present in this album (“Skin” is missing!)- and so I’d say that because these tracks are familiar, then you guys can check them out first, and then backtrack through the entire album. But… we’re not here to cover over old ground. This year, Sabrina released the deluxe edition of emails I can’t send– this time with 4 extra tracks.
I’ve said this once or twice- but I will say this again. Releasing deluxe editions or special edition albums of highly rated and well-received albums… well, doing that right is a feat in and of itself. I’m of the firm belief that if you’re an artist, you either unveil a deluxe edition album the same day as the standard edition, with 3-4 new tracks; or if you release a deluxe edition 1-2 years later, then you have around 8-9 or 10 extra tracks tops. With Sabrina’s new-ish project, sadly the inclusion of only 4 new tracks doesn’t really warrant the time lag of the release of the album a full 9 months later. These four songs are good… but I would’ve hoped for more. What the deluxe edition album does do however, is to reaffirm my belief that Sabrina Carpenter will be a big artist in the coming months and years. “opposite” delves deep into an ex who has moved on, and Sabrina questioning whether her ex really loved her or not (because the stark difference in the other girl’s appearance implies the opposite of what the Sabrina’s ex mentioned to her that he loved her); while “Feather” is a joyous melody which has Sabrina celebrating that her ex is out of her life, and that she feels free and light as a feather now that he is out of her life. “Lonesome”, a reflective ballad, has Sabrina once again questioning the intentions of her ex, and wanting to know if he was genuine throughout their relationship or not; while the heartbreaking and emotional track “things I wish you said” speaks about Sabrina fantasising and wishing for things that her ex could have and should have said to her, but ultimately in the end realising that he will never say them to her because that’s the kind of guy he is.
With Sabrina Carpenter’s new album soaring on the iTunes charts over the past July, as well as impressing the critics; I’m sure many of you may see this project as Sabrina’s inner most thoughts and nothing more. Yet for me, these melodies, which are indeed Sabrina’s most vulnerable and authentic moments of her relationship and ultimate breakdown of said relationships with Joshua Bassett and Dylan O’Brien, pack a great punch lyrically and thematically. Or at least that’s what I gleaned from listening to the album myself. You all may gain something different from Sabrina’s new album. Or you may not like it at all. You may not relate to relationship songs, or you may be like me and like them despite you personally not being in a relationship. And that’s ok. With standout tracks like “Skinny Dipping”, “Fast Times”, “Decode”, “Because I Liked A Boy” and “Opposite”; can I add that I am super excited and stoked for anything else that Sabrina records? Despite the timeliness of this deluxe edition album being not quite timely, one listen to this underrated album still impresses me greatly… and I’m sure you’ll all agree with me too! Well done Sabrina Carpenter, for emails i can’t send… which has lots and lots of lyrical treasures to unpack!
I feel like your whole life, you hear people talk about your twenties and how rough they are, and you always question it like, “Why? It seems like not that bad.” And then you get there, and you’re like, “Oh, this is what they were talking about.” Everything’s happening for the first time, meaning all the lows feel even lower, and the highs feel even higher. But it’s all happening at such an accelerated speed. So the album, for me, was really a time capsule of a special time in my life when I dealt with many things for the first time. I feel like I came out of that with a much greater perspective, and all these songs are based on real nights or experiences and reflecting and foreshadowing. There was a lot in between. So I think that is what’s really special about it. It just feels like it encapsulated a lot of really special moments in my life.
I’m very nervous about the deluxe! I don’t even think I’ve processed that I’m adding to this story yet because I was so happy with it as it was. If I didn’t have any more songs on the album, I would’ve been fine. But there were these few select, really special songs that obviously didn’t make the album. And there’s that feeling where you go back, and you’re like, “Oh, what if they were supposed to be part of the story?” And they fit this chapter in my life still. The themes of the songs still feel very nostalgic to me. So I’m excited! I don’t know what the fans will think, but if they like Emails I Can’t Send, they’ll definitely like the deluxe edition.
Do I juggle [music and acting]? I don’t, really. Hopefully, I like to do things with, if I can, ease and effortlessness. If I’m being pulled in one direction, I’m being pulled that way for a reason, whether it’s the time in my life when it’s really important to tell my story or tell someone else’s. So I try not to put too much pressure on it. And the projects I’ve done over the years are projects I felt connected to. My music is always something I’m connected to. So which one do I prefer? It’s so tricky because I have so much autonomy over music. It’s really my voice, whereas acting projects that I do are a little bit more… there are a lot more cooks involved, but I still love acting. So I hope I get to do more, and there are definitely plans to do so…
5 songs to listen to: Because I Liked A Boy, Skinny Dipping, Fast Times, Decode, Opposite
RIYL: Olivia Rodrigo, Sofia Carson, Selena Gomez, Halsey, Tori Kelly, JoJo, Julia Michaels, Delta Goodrem, Echosmith