Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Sabrina Carpenter comes into her own on Singular: Act I

"Singular: Act I"

Release date: 09 November 2018
7.5/10
CARPENTER
09 November 2018, 07:00 Written by Julian Baldsing
Email
Sabrina Carpenter has always displayed a knack for crafting – and curating – strong pop releases, but Singular: Act I sees her hone these skills further, resulting in her tightest, most polished project to date.

While her sophomore album EVOLution symbolised Carpenter’s departure from the folk-flecked pop of Eyes Wide Open, Singular: Act I feels like an even larger progression from the LP preceding it – not necessarily just through her shifts in sound, but in the way it heralds her arrival as a fully-fledged star. This is immediately apparent on “Almost Love” – the album’s lead single and opening number – a commanding, urgent call-to-action for a relationship that needs to take its next step, pushed forward with intermittent whistles and drums.

The album goes on to explore a range of sounds, from “Hold Tight”, a stellar slow jam that kicks into high gear for a huge, stuttering chorus, to “Diamonds are Forever”, a swaggering, theatrical belter. These different leanings are all tied together by Carpenter’s now distinct, confident presence - which shines throughout the LP and imbues its tracks with a unifying sense of self-assuredness, regardless of how they choose to recount relationships both old or new. On the glimmering “Mona Lisa” she spurs on a potential love interest into finding the courage to approach her; the album’s excellent first promotional single “Paris” brings in bells and synths as she sings of returning to an old muse after exploring a new city; and the appropriately titled “prfct” places her vocals at the forefront of a track about embracing the unexpected turns every relationship takes.

Carpenter approaches sourer subjects with a similar sense of self-assuredness. “Sue Me” is an anthemic mid-tempo number about exiting a relationship with the same aplomb as she entered it, and on “Bad Time” – the album’s second promotional single and an undeniable highlight – she gleefully turns the tables on a serial flake. The latter track is also perhaps the best example of the lyricism and pop sensibility Carpenter brings to the album as a whole – creating image-heavy scenarios that are then exploded into a chorus with sticky hooks and a massive pay-off. And though Singular: Act I is described as the lead half of a larger project (with Act II slated for release next year), it’s moments like those, and there are many of them, that make the eight-track album feel like a complete production. It’s certainly no small triumph that Singular: Act I stands so firmly by itself – and its creation marks an exciting new phase of an artist properly coming into her own.

Share article
Email

Get the Best Fit take on the week in music direct to your inbox every Friday

Read next
News
Listen
Reviews