Reviews

Sabrina Carpenter “fruitcake” Album Review

fruitcake – EP

Sabrina Carpenter

  • Genre: Christmas
  • Date: 17 Nov, 2023
  • Content: explicit
  • Track(s): 6
  • ℗ 2023 Island Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Sabrina Carpenter &Quot;Fruitcake&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, March 2, 2024

Fruitcake, a six-track EP that includes five original Christmas songs and a classic with a modern spin, was released by the artist on Friday, 17 Nov 2023. Though she may still be Taylor Swift’s opening act on the Eras Tour, Sabrina Carpenter is starting a new chapter in her life. With a picture of herself clutching a fruitcake—the EP’s cover art—and the album’s tracklisting marked as “ingredients,” the singer revealed the EP’s impending release earlier this month. The disco-tinged “Is It New Years Yet?” and “White Xmas” are among the tracks. Other songs include “Buy Me Presents.”

The former Disney Channel star, whose irreverent pop singles and vocal range have defined her career, opens with the tinkling of holiday bells to a surprisingly sensitive EP. Sabrina Carpenter’s debut Christmas EP, “Fruitcake,” explores love and passion in various seasonal moods. About a month after she released the Halloween-themed music video for her song “Feather” and a rendition of Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble,” she released the new holiday music. Carpenter is making sure her fans are fed this season with her fruitcake.

Album Art

Sabrina Carpenter &Quot;Fruitcake&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, March 2, 2024

The album art shows a portrait image of Sabrina as she holds a fruitcake over her face—save for her eyes—wearing her SC (Sabrina Carpenter) ring and a red Christmas sweater. It is the festive season, and Sabrina has brought her fruitcake to share with her fans.

Tracks And Features

“A Nonsense Christmas,” the opening track, is a remix of Carpenter’s “Nonsense,” published last year, and maybe the song with the most outstanding popularity on the EP. “A Nonsense Christmas” is an excellent chance for Carpenter and her crew to show off their songwriting skills, and they do not let it down. Although a Christmas-themed remix of “Nonsense” would seem like an unusual decision, each song performance has a different outro. Every line is replete with references to and euphemisms related to Christmas; it’s evident that the song’s concept of being foolish when you still want someone has been transformed into a holiday classic. Some humorous lines showcase her trademark mischievous style throughout this celebration.

The next song is a similarly upbeat and bouncy tongue-in-cheek love ballad called “Buy Me Presents.” It was written by Sabrina Carpenter, Steph Jones, and John Ryan. John Ryan also produced the song, which is filled with festive wordplay. Sabrina playfully compares her loved one to Santa Claus. Compared to “A Nonsense Christmas,” this song has a slower tempo as Carpenter transitions into the lowercase titles she will use throughout the album. These titles have a fuller sound and handle the humorous premise with sincerity. The album also features calm, atmospheric music, backline asides, and ad-lib singing. The cherry on top is the sax solo that plays before the last chorus.

The third song, “Santa Doesn’t Know You Like I Do,” brings the tone down even further and into contemplation. The ballad begins softly and slowly before the bass line enters, turning the song into a gentle yet intense longing for a past romance. This song’s transition from blatantly playful to vulnerable and longing is pleasant; the contrast between the soft production and snare kicks makes it sound like a depressing tune that isn’t sure if it wants to dance. The evocative spoken-word bridge calms the music for a minute. Although it seems unlikely that all of these components would work together, the production’s use of Christmas bells and the cohesive Christmas motifs give this ambitious and beautiful song an unexpectedly cohesive quality.

The album’s longest song, and the only one that lasts more than three minutes, is “Santa doesn’t know you like I do.” The topic of the sub-three-minute pop song is divisive in and of itself; it’s difficult to conclude which songs are blatantly lacking anything, but there is a certain lack of memory that each song might have touched on with a little more attention.

The album’s darkest track, “Cindy Lou Who,” alludes to the main character of “The Grinch,” as Carpenter considers who her beloved has moved on. Carpenter’s ethereal vocals and mellow synths create a song about subdued acceptance and melancholy that seems ready to drift away. Carpenter’s vocals further muddle the song’s meaning as she asks, “Cindy Lou, who?” Is this the prettier girl her ex is in love with, or is she just thinking about it? The movement of the production elements reflects the singer’s ongoing unanswered questions.

“Is it New Year’s yet?” is when the beat cranks back up, and she sonically and lyrically recovers. The album Fruitcake’s highlight song is “Is it New Year yet?” With its anti-Christmas themes, this track will undoubtedly become a favourite for people who do not appreciate Christmas and its festive enthusiasm. With a backing track that sounds almost like 80s disco, Carpenter sings about all the terrible aspects of Christmas. “Is it New Year Yet?” has a strong bassline and catchy synths, making it a listen that won’t go away.

“Buy Me Presents” has an unmistakable 90s Christmas vibe reminiscent of those classic Mariah Carey holiday hits. Thanks to its staccato piano and vintage saxophone, it’s a must-have for any holiday playlist that creates an irresistible sound. With the upbeat chorus, Carpenter expresses her desire to move on both physically and mentally after her breakup. The staccato harmonies also add a new dimension of dance rhythm to the song. The lyrics, laced with Carpenter’s signature ennui and ridicule, add the necessary touch of lightheartedness. Bright bells serve as accents, and the song emphasizes the need for joyful audio panning throughout, making it a true standout.

The song “White Xmas,” a jumble of allusions to well-known Christmas carols, ends “Fruitcake.” Carpenter’s vocal prowess is evident as always, but the song feels more like a flashy, easily skipped outro than a well-written tune. She begins, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,” with a simple sound and vintage vocals. The song starts with her repetitive vocalization of “Da-da-da-dum,” but before it can get momentum, she slows down again and displays some again-admirably beautiful runs. As the record ends, the song throws another surprise by switching to some “jingle bells, the jingle bells, jingle all the way.”

Tracklist

NO

TITLE

TIME

1 A Nonsense Christmas 2:33
2 buy me presents 2:57
3 santa doesn’t know you like i do 3:09
4 cindy lou who 2:01
5 is it new years yet? 2:38
6 white xmas 2:26

Album Summary

Though her dedication to deft wordplay and well-selected subjects was already adequate, the covers may solidify “Fruitcake” as a Christmas album. “Fruitcake” is a concise yet excellent holiday album, with five tracks in under 16 minutes. Though some of the songs risk becoming forgettable, the EP flows well together and has a strong progression from joy and fun to contemplation and sorrow to confidence.

The artist who brought us “Emails I Can’t Send”—a deluxe version of her 2022 album, “Emails I Can’t Send,” which Carpenter is still promoting with an unexpected music video for “Feather,” which was released on Halloween—is promising, and “Fruitcake” is a good continuation of that work. It also bodes well for Carpenter’s longevity as an artist, having put out albums since she was fifteen. Even though “Fruitcake” isn’t going to become a commercial hit based on the season-related themes, fans should play it a lot throughout the holidays.

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