Sabrina Carpenter’s ‘Singular: Act I’ is singularly impressive

Angela Ma and Shrishti Verma

American singer, songwriter, and actress Sabrina Annlynn Carpenter recently released her third studio album, Singular: Act I on Nov. 9. Carpenter has come a long way in her musical career, ever since uploading her first cover for “Picture to Burn” by Taylor Swift to YouTube in 2009. Carpenter started her career as an actress and landed her first acting job for Disney in 2014. This also marked the beginning of Carpenter’s singing career when she released her debut EP, Can’t Blame a Girl for Trying. With the release of Singular: Act I, Carpenter’s label as a Disney star came to a conclusion. She matured into a musician who was no longer afraid to express herself, connecting with fans on a deeper level.

Carpenter starts off her album with her lead single, “Almost Love,” followed by “Paris.” The introductions to these songs effectively build up suspense and set the mood for the album. Upbeat backtracks generate a steady rhythm, through which Carpenter showcases her wide-ranged and raspy vocals. The bass accompaniments add a romantically intriguing touch to both of these songs, showing Carpenter’s desire for love and travel.

The most noteworthy songs in the album are “Hold Tight,” “Sue Me,” and “Diamonds Are Forever.” They display a new side of Carpenter and are completely distinct from her other songs. With beat drops and exhilarating energy, Carpenter conveys a powerful message of self-confidence and boldness. The melodious and catchy tunes of these songs make the listeners feel like they can conquer anything and that creativity has no limit. The importance of cherishing individuality over materialistic wealth is revealed in the refrain of “Diamonds Are Forever,” “I am a diamond, and diamonds are forever / My love is timeless, ‘cause diamonds are forever, oh no / Money don’t buy class, and I can’t live quite like that, like that / I am a diamond, and diamonds are forever.” Through captivating vocals, Carpenter shows listeners that the individual is priceless and possesses the most value.

In “prfct,” Carpenter mocks the deception that is often correlated with perfection through her lyrics, “See right through the fiction, and all of this fakery / Just give me some friction, let me see what nobody sees / You don’t think that I can handle the truth?” The drumming in the backtrack adds a smooth and lively tempo to the song, and Carpenter’s execution of falsetto during the refrain sends chills down listeners’ spines. In “Bad Time,” Carpenter expresses her anger towards people who lose their integrity after being in a relationship. In particular, Carpenter proves to listeners the despicability of men who try to win back women’s hearts after betrayal. The shortest track on the album is “Mona Lisa,” which is another R&B style song. This short but sweet song leaves listeners reminiscing about Carpenter’s origins.

Singular: Act I is a major turning point for Carpenter, signifying her inspirational transformation from a Disney actress to a refined singer-songwriter. The unique pop elements, lyrics, and vocals incorporated into the songs showcase her growth as a singer. Singular: Act I encourages self-confidence and originality, and this positive message will be carried into Singular: Act II, which is due to be released early next year.