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‘emails i can’t send’ delivers Sabrina Carpenter’s drafted confessions

‘emails i can’t send’ delivers Sabrina Carpenter’s drafted confessions

‘emails i can’t send’ delivers Sabrina Carpenter’s drafted confessions
July 29
14:00 2022

In her newest release, “emails i can’t send,” Sabrina Carpenter gets more personal by airing public and private drama. The artist’s honest approach to past struggles and conflicts helps carry her musical development. Although not exactly airtight, the attempts made by Carpenter in “emails i can’t send” are a worthy effort at displaying her gradual maturity.

Carpenter opens the album with an intimate title track. The song focuses on Carpenter’s feelings regarding her father’s previous infidelity toward her mother. In comparison to her previous poppy releases, this play is an extremely vulnerable way to start her album.

The song, which Carpenter said inspired the record, delves deep into the artist’s own insecurities. Carpenter relays how the betrayal of those closest to someone can later affect how they view other personal relationships. The private, familial connections discussed in the song make it all the more hard-hitting. The openness expressed on the track garners sympathy and a level of understanding for other themes explored on the album.

This introduction to the “emails i can’t send” project shows Carpenter is willing to go head-first into her emotions. It demonstrates early on what she wants to accomplish through her attempt at musical sophistication. 

The most popular track off of the album, “because i liked a boy,” falls toward the center of the tracklist. This song addresses Carpenter’s perspective on her widely discussed 2021 Disney star drama — the love triangle with Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett. While this isn’t the most immediate response to Rodrigo’s “Sour” and its Bassett-based themes, Carpenter makes it clear she’s used the time to her advantage. 

Compared to Rodrigo’s record-breaking “Driver’s License,” Carpenter’s perspective makes a less direct approach to the fellow actress. She distinctly presents her side to the drama, focusing it more on the internet’s perception of her, rather than Rodrigo’s. Carpenter explains how the public eye can quickly turn innocent events into catastrophic deceptions. This acts as more of a commentary on the brutalities of internet culture and the impact they leave on chosen targets.

Like many emotional pop albums, Carpenter also reviews traditional aspects of young love and heartbreak. While these aspects are recycled music topics, the artist still makes an attempt at showing off new approaches. Across the track list, she explores a variety of genres, like classic pop in “Fast Times,” pop-rock in “Vicious” and R&B inspirations in “Nonsense.” This illustrates her efforts in expanding her musical sound beyond simple Radio Disney pop.

Ending on “decode,” Carpenter makes the decision to stop punishing herself with past heartbreak. It openly explains the artist’s growth throughout the turmoil discussed on the album. The closing track acts as a sort of full circle closing to the “emails i can’t send” plot, showing development in cohesive storytelling.

Overall, the album provides more emotional insight into Carpenter’s life. Covering family issues, celebrity drama and personal heartbreak, she demonstrates how her personal growth has expanded into her music career. Following the trend of confessional pop albums, Carpenter provides an inside look at how she continues to discover and redefine herself and her career.

It’s often a struggle for former Disney stars to successfully step out of the company’s shadow. As referenced in Carpenter’s album, this is all the more difficult in the face of Rodrigo’s breakout music industry success. However, even in the face of constant comparisons, Carpenter proves she’s still fixed on setting her sound apart.

It can be exciting to watch an artist slowly grow into their own self and style. Although it’s still a bit early in Carpenter’s independent career, the depth and themes explored in “emails i can’t send” shows promise for her future as a songwriter.

As recent trends have shown, revealing music projects are anything but bad for business. If Carpenter continues to be more vulnerable with audiences, she’s easily guaranteed more success and respect as an independent, adult artist.

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Samantha Thornfelt

Samantha Thornfelt

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