Sabrina Carpenter is on the edge of a new beginning with her new album Singular: Act I. This marks her third record, and she has grown considerably as an artist and writer between each release – something that especially shines through on Singular: Act I. “I’m beginning in a different place than I was before,” says nineteen-year-old Carpenter of her latest project. In short, Carpenter knows herself better than ever.
Carpenter approached Singular: Act I a little bit older and a little bit wiser than she was when she began writing songs for her first album. She opted to push herself out of her comfort zone, flaunting the confidence of someone who has entered young adulthood and found their own voice. That same sense of empowerment is weaved throughout Singular: Act I: a set of eight sonic epiphanies (all of which she co-wrote) blending Carpenter’s R&B-style vocals with the atmospheric pop sensibilities she helmed on her sophomore record EVOlution. “With every song I wanted to act and be able to tell the story theatrically, and that was something I don’t think I got to do with EVOlution,” she said. To do that, Carpenter enlisted a group of musical power players to help craft Singular: Act I including Stargate, Jason Evigan, Oak Felder, Ross Golan, Johan Carlsson, Oscar Gorres, Brett McLaughlin and Steph Jones.
Singular: Act I follows Carpenter as she revels in her confidence as a young woman, making her voice the main instrument of the record. In the club-ready “Almost Love,” she pushes against her impulse control. “We could give it a minute, but what’s the fun in a minute?” she muses, her breathy vocals cascading over a seductive electro-pop beat. Carpenter recounts her love affair in France on her 18th birthday with “Paris,” fusing the idealistic, cinematic qualities of the city with her sultry lilt. The R&B-flavored “Hold Tight” is perhaps Carpenter’s most experimental track and pairs nicely with “PRFCT,” a pure R&B slow jam, which longtime Carpenter fans will
appreciate for its catchy chorus. “So sue me, for looking so pretty tonight,” Carpenter teases on “Sue Me,” a self-worth anthem for anyone post-breakup that sees their ex at a club. “What I can legally say, is that it’s inspired by real-life experiences,” Carpenter says coyly of the track. The alluring, vocoder-heavy opening of “Bad Time” will speak to fans of Taylor Swift’s “Delicate” but as a kiss-off to fuccbois everywhere. “Don’t leave me hangin’ like the Mona Lisa,” Carpenter seductively pleads on “Mona Lisa,” meditating on the effects of unspoken attraction. On the
final track, “Diamonds Are Forever,” Carpenter asserts her self-confidence by belting her powerhouse vocals: “Money can’t buy class and I can’t be bought like that.”
Carpenter’s new album comes after a big year for the burgeoning pop star. Earlier this year she released “Alien” with Jonas Blue, as well as the first single from Singular: Act I, “Almost Love.” She most recently starred in the feature film The Hate U Give, based on Angie Thomas’ 2017 novel of the same name, and will take on her first leading role in The Short History of The Long Road in 2019.
“I feel like I’m so lucky that I’m surrounded by a generation that doesn’t make me feel like being outspoken or having an opinion is wrong.” Singular: Act I is just the beginning of Carpenter’s new era — Act II is coming soon.