Album Review: Sabrina Carpenter is dynamic and demanding on 'Singular: Act I'

Album Review: Sabrina Carpenter is dynamic and demanding on 'Singular: Act I'
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Sabrina Carpenter
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Singular: Act I
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"Je ne voulais pas trouver l’amour, mais Paris a quelque chose qui donne envie d’aimer, d'aimer passionnément," Sabrina Carpenter utters during the bridge of "Paris," the second track and one of three lead singles from her third album Singular: Act I. "I did not want to find love," she says, "but Paris has something that makes you want to love, to love passionately." Early on the 8 track project, the 19-year-old singer leaves behind the looming foothold that was ever present on her previous projects and instead sets the tone for an unbound new venture abundant with elegance and confidence throughout the 25-minute duration of her latest album. 

With each track being solidified and pulled together by a different producer, Carpenter is able to showcase her versatility on a myriad of sonic landscapes. "Sue Me" was created with the help of producers Oak Felder and The Orphanage, the same team responsible for Demi Lovato's 2017 smash "Sorry Not Sorry." On this anthemic declaration of self-assurance and personal strength, Carpenter embodies the energy of an individual unrestrained and unbothered by the discontentment of an ex-lover. This poised assertiveness continues on tracks like "Bad Time," where Carpenter enlists Troye Sivan and Taylor Swift producer OZGO to flip the script on someone notorious for picking and choosing when they want to engage with someone. While "Diamonds are Forever," produced by Johan Carlsson who holds a production credit from Ariana Grande's "Dangerous Woman," allows Carpenter to dig deep and hit us with explosive and soul-filled vocals. 

"Money don't buy class, and I can't be bought like that," Carpenter boasts on the latter track in an effortless vocal progression reminiscent of a pop star ready to make her mark on an ever competitive and comparative genre. This energy appears first and foremost on Singular: Act I's lead single and opening track, "Almost Love," and again on "Mona Lisa," where the singer sets the basis for a collection of stand out pop records. Carpenter succeeded in crafting hit after hit by pulling production efforts from those all over the pop world whom she hadn't worked with before, although Rob Persaud, who worked on her 2016 sophomore album EVOLution, makes another appearance on "Prfct." 

Singular: Act I's stand out track happens to be the one collaboration Carpenter decided to include on the album: "Hold Tight" which features rising hip-hop artist, and son of DJ Jazzy Jeff, Uhmeer. The electrifying production of the song is a product of the work of Mike Sabath who already formulated a hit earlier this year with J Balvin and Liam Payne's "Familiar." Uhmeer and Carpenter's interconnection during the third verse of the track exemplifies two artists dynamic capable of demanding a listener's undivided attention and reverence. The singer navigates her way through a sonic environment that is nebulous at times, manifesting the aura of a dark and hazy room, but invigorating and turbocharged with precision at others–a description easily extended to the versatility of the album as a whole. 

Regardless of the big name producers involved in this project, if the 25-minute album were done entirely acapella, Carpenter's effortless vocal range and explosive delivery would make still hit just as hard. Her inarguable dynamic vocal performances that remain consistent in every track is what sets her apart from the rest. With three albums now under her belt, Sabrina Carpenter has shown indispensable growth in the music world. Singular: Act I finally conveys the singer in a space equipped for showcasing her talent and attraction as a pop artist and performer moving to the bigger stage. This latest album shows immense promise for the future of her discography as she continues to cement her place as one of the top new artist in this next generation of musicians. 

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Album Review · Main Stage · Pop · Reviews


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