By Rhiannon Levengood
Photo by Sarah Barlow
If you Google the definition for evolution, you’re given two different denotations. The first explains how organisms evolve or change over a vast period of time; and the second takes a more broad approach, explaining instead the development of a single being within no time limits.
- the process by which different kinds of living organisms are thought to have developed and diversified from earlier forms during the history of the earth.
- the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form.
When a dedicated fan asked why Sabrina Carpenter chose the word evolution for her second album’s title, she tweeted a simple reason in response:
While she is obviously writing about how life changes and her personal evolution here, it’s evident that her music style has its own evolution as well. With the release of two singles from her new record, it’s clear that Carpenter is experimenting musically and lyrically.
Sabrina’s first album Eyes Wide Open, which she released through Hollywood Records when she was 15 years old in April 2015 had an acoustic pop vibe to it. Many of her songs felt unplugged as they were created using only non-electric instruments including the guitar, ukulele, and piano. She drew from two major singer/songwriters and producers, Meghan Trainor and Chris Gelbuda, for this album, both of which are well-known pop and country enthusiasts. Trainor herself plays ukulele and co-wrote two songs on Eyes Wide Open.
As many artists who are just getting their toes in the sands of the music industry, Carpenter’s first album was almost completely written for her, with only a handful of songs actually co-written by the singer herself (four out of twelve, to be exact).
EVOLution, however, has a completely different sound so far.
Sabrina’s first single “On Purpose“ preserves the singer’s previous style as it opens with a strong piano instrumental through the first verse. As the song crescendos into the bridge, a vocal effect is added, giving the song an echo-y and rounded sound that’s best listened to through headphones. With the chorus comes a fabricated symphony composed of a few synthesizers acting as strings, drums, and percussion instruments. The song continues down an electronic path away from Eyes Wide Open and into the mind of an evolved 17 year old Carpenter.
“All We Have Is Love” which is the second single from EVOLution, mimics the first one as it uses strictly electronic instruments and a pulsating beat that’s hard not to dance to. There’s a layered effect to her vocals that gives the song volume and an overall techno energy. This song could easily be heard on the radio between Nick Jonas’s “Close” and Demi Lovato’s “Confident”.
Along with her sound development, Sabrina Carpenter was more involved with this album, having written and co-written more than half of the record.
Like most artists, Sabrina is using her medium to tell her story, show her growth and maturity, and evolve into the singer she ultimately wants to be. Because with life comes change for everyone and change is good.
EVOLution is set to release on October 14 along with the addition of two more singles out on September 30 and October 7. You can pre-order her album on iTunes and through her website. Be sure to check out Sabrina on tour this fall!