Diving Into the Best of Sabrina Carpenter’s Smash Album “Emails I Can’t Send”

By: Nicole Chedraoui 

Before I begin this article, I feel I owe an apology to Ms. Sabrina Carpenter. As a devout Olivia Rodrigo stan, you may remember an article I published last year titled, “A Dummies Guide to the Driver’s License Drama.” In that article, I was entirely unfair to Sabrina and was inappropriately biased towards both her music and her personhood. 

In the last year, I discovered the godly world of Sabrina’s incredible Ariana-like-vocals and genuine down-to-earth persona. 

Who is Sabrina Carpenter? 

Born in May of 1999, Sabrina Annlynn Carpenter is a 23-year-old American singer, songwriter, and actress who rose to fame after her debut on “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.” If you don’t recognize her from that, you may have also spotted her on “Orange is The New Black,” or more recently, Disney Channel’s “Girl Meets World.” 

Sabrina’s singing was originally discovered when she won a singing contest hosted by Miley Cyrus. Sabrina believes winning this contest is what truly started her music career and created her musical fan base. Carpenter launched her first ever debut album in 2015, titled “Eyes Wide Open,” in which she achieved success through many of her pop singles. Later in 2021, you may remember Sabrina made some messy headlines for being “the other woman” in the love triangle between her, Olivia Rodrigo, and fellow Disney Co-Star Joshua Bassett. Recently, Sabrina has come forward and has made it almost abundantly clear that a lot of the songs on her newest album (but not all) are about her rocky relationship with Joshua. 

The Album

 In July of 2022, Sabrina Carpenter created and released one of the most intimate and heartbreaking studio albums I have ever heard in my 18 years on Earth. Titled “Emails I Can’t Send,” Sabrina Carpenter released 13 songs that each tell a different story. She is currently on tour for her second studio album (the EVOlution tour) for the album I’ll be dissecting today. I’m here to give you a carefully curated starter pack of the best songs to add to your playlist off of “Emails I Can’t Send.” These are the songs that you can cry to in the car and dance to in the shower. Without further ado, I present to you the best of Sabrina Carpenter. 

Emails I Can’t Send 

Titled directly from the name of the album, Sabrina opens up her story book with 1 minute and 44 seconds of instrumental magic and tragic lyricism. Nothing kicks off an album like talk of your father’s infidelity! The song begins: 

It’s times like these, wish I had a time machine

So I could see what you did October 13th

At 10:15, were you really asleep?

Were you lyin’ to me and the family?

I know, it’s a very heavy start to your casual listening. In this heartbreaking ballad, Sabrina opens up about the insecurity and trauma she carries with her from the most important man in her life–her father. This song shows the complexities of unconditional love and how to navigate life with the eternal fear of trust and intimacy. Sabrina displays the juxtaposition of both the love and hatred she shows for her father in, arguably, the best line on the album: “God I love you, but you’re such a dipsh**.” This song is for all of the girls, gays, and theys with daddy issues, trust issues, and ultimately, those who get let down by men on a daily basis. 

Cry-in-the-car-ability: 100/10

Vicious 

Have you ever heard the song “Hot n Cold” by pop star legend Katy Perry? “Vicious” is “Hot-n-Cold”’s better, cooler, older sister. As a woman in the modern age, one of the biggest issues we can face in love is the dreaded experience of being ghosted. I’m talking romantic dinner one night, cold turkey silence the next. He pays for your meal and buys you flowers and then deletes your contact the next day. I’m talking being left on read and absolutely contemplating your life because WHY? “Vicious” is perhaps the most angry song ever written, and it expresses the absolute anguish felt when a lover is hot n cold, on and off, and overall, a pretty crappy person. During the chorus, Sabrina sings: 

Oh, you’re so vicious

Love me, then pretend you didn’t

Crush my heart and wreck my image

Why you gotta be so vicious?

I wonder who she could be writing about? Cough *Joshua Bassett* Cough. The curly headed Disney star makes his first appearance on an album solely dedicated to his narcissism! Vicious is a nice way to put it, Sab. 

Dance-in-the-shower ability 11/10

Tornado Warnings 

How many of the viewers reading love to ignore red flags and ghost their therapist? Me too!  If you’re anything like me, this is the song for you! Sometimes, when you really like someone, a red flag may appear to be a bit orange or perhaps an autumn brown. If you think about it, we’re really just optimists, we like to see the best in people and ignore all of their flaws; however, this song is all about embracing the toxic traits that we all possess within ourselves and making light of hindsight bias. Hindsight will always be 20/20, sometimes you just have to laugh at how oblivious you were and the lengths you went to absolute absurdity. In the song Sabrina states,

We were never in the park

Talkin’ on a seesaw teetering with our feelings in the dark

Ignoring tornado warnings

I guess maybe that’s why I’m lying to my therapist

I keep saying things like, “I never saw him and we never kissed”

If you’re doing something your therapist wouldn’t approve of, should you really be doing it? This song is all about how easy it is to ignore the warning bells that ring around you every time you’re with Mr. Wrong–even if Mr. Wrong was really pretty, he’s still a manipulative Disney Star (I’m still looking at you Joshua Bassett). 

Dance-in-the-shower ability AND cry-in-the-car ability: 10/10

How Many Things 

To end this article, I had to talk about one of the songs I personally relate to the most. “How Many Things” was a song created for people pleasers, the people who always give, even when they get absolutely nothing in return. For many people, being considerate of others and putting others before themselves is common practice, but apparently it wasn’t for Sabrina Carpenter’s ex. Sabrina wrote:

I consider you, I’m not trying to

It doesn’t matter whether not I want to

I can’t help it, it’s a habit

Your corner in my mind is well established

I wonder how many things you think about before you get to me

I wonder how many things you wanna do, you think I’m in-between

I feel myself falling further down your priorities

And I still make excuses for you constantly

This song once again highlights the narcissism in her ex and his constant inability to make time for her like she did him. Sabrina feels like her ex would think of anyone or anything else before thinking of her wants and needs. I must also note one of the most comically genius lines Sabrina ever wrote appears as the first line of this song, she states, “You used a fork once, It turns out forks are f****** everywhere.” I think this line is both inherently amusing as well as relatable, for anyone going through a breakup has most likely gone through this stage of hurt. The stage where everything reminds you of them, unless, of course, you’re Joshua Bassett, in which case, you never think about your girlfriend. (jokes)

Cry-in-the-car ability: 100000/10

That’s it for today folks; those are my cherry-picked favorites off Sab’s newest album! I hope you all enjoyed hearing a little bit more about Sabrina Carpenter and the intimate details of her newest studio album and maybe even learned a thing or two along the way. Remember to stream “Emails I Can’t Send” to get the best music to dance to in the shower and cry to in the car!

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