By Rhiannon Levengood
October 14th marks the release of Sabrina Carpenter’s sophomore album appropriately entitled EVOLution. Carpenter has gone through a musical metamorphosis by shedding her acoustic 6-string and uke for a more modern take on her art. This 10 song LP takes the listener on an upbeat and groovy journey from their ears right into the heart of its creator.
Carpenter’s new record begins with her vocally strong first single “On Purpose”, which sets the gears for the rest of the album. It introduces the artist’s new sound: a techno-driven pulse that gets you moving your feet. The tracks continue to construct the singer’s new vibe with a Selena Gomez-esque love ballad called “Feels Like Loneliness”.
As the album launches into Sabrina’s fourth single “Thumbs”, we’re given a brief break from the heartfelt love songs. With poetically written lyrics, Carpenter warns us against sitting back and twiddling our thumbs as life’s opportunities to change pass us by. In addition to the song’s finger-snappin’ chorus, an electronic orchestra is laid down, which pushes the single along with an accelerated tempo. All of these elements produce an eclectic tone that is noticeably distinctive from her other songs.
The record steadily progresses with “No Words”, a song that divulges if a love is true it won’t need any spoken words to give and receive comfort, ‘even in the madness.’ A funky beat in combination with Carpenter’s symbolic lyrics conjures up an Alice in Wonderland allusion complete with the feeling of tumbling down into a rabbithole.
Together, Sabrina Carpenter and Jimmy Robbins created the fifth song on the album. “Run and Hide” slows down the once thumping rhythm of the album and replaces it with a single guitar backing the vocals. This beautifully written ballad focuses more on the lyrics, which tell of Carpenter’s frustrations with being told she’s too young to find a love worth falling head over heels for. She describes how she feels love is portrayed by society, as if it’s ‘a loaded gun’ ready to shoot and cause heartbreak.
Continuing with the mellow groove, the album’s sixth and seventh tracks “Mirage” and “Don’t Want It Back” recount two completely different stories. The first outlines Carpenter’s emotions over the Hollywood scene and has instrumentals that could be heard propelling models down a runway, while the latter has a sound mimicking today’s top radio hits.
Carpenter expresses unconditional love in “Shadows” with stunningly brilliant vocals that would turn all four chairs on The Voice. The engineering of this track causes goosebumps that only multiply through the final chorus as her voice powers through the music and rings out overhead.
The last two songs, “Space” and Sabrina’s second single pick up the pace once again. Her finale “All We Have Is Love” defines the entire record. It combines the common themes of love and perseverance along with her mature sound and her style of songwriting in comparison to her debut album. Ending her second album with this song truly brings this chapter’s evolution to a solid close.
Sabrina Carpenter’s first ever headlining tour is sold out and kicks off October 18th. Follow her on Twitter to know firsthand when more tickets will be released for each city. For exact dates and cities check out her website. Don’t forget to purchase EVOLution available on iTunes and in stores October 14th!