Track Review: Please Please Please // Sabrina Carpenter

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How does one follow up the song of the summer? Well, by creating another one, of course! With her second single from her upcoming sixth album, Short n’ Sweet, Sabrina Carpenter builds on the hype created by ‘Espresso’ to show her versatility as an artist, with the different, but equally brilliant, ‘Please Please Please’.

If ‘Espresso’ is the track that plays as you lounge by the Lido, then ‘Please, Please, Please’ is the one in the background of a date at the arcade. Its 80s-inspired opening riff would perfectly fit into the Stranger Things soundtrack. Musically, it feels like a departure from Carpenter’s recent endeavours, yet simultaneously fits perfectly into her discography, utilising the key themes seen throughout her music such as wanting to keep a messy and complex relationship private (e.g. ‘Tornado Warnings’), and building on the brand of pop that has launched her into a new level of fame. The finger-picking guitar style that sits underneath the synth overtones particularly bears likeness to tracks like ‘Bad for Business’  from emails i can’t send. Jack Antonoff’s synth-heavy and airy production style works perfectly to highlight the gentle tone of Carpenter’s vocals, whilst also being a reminder to listeners that his recent work with Taylor Swift isn’t the only thing he’s capable of.

Lyrically, it uses Carpenter’s specific brand of self-deprecation that bears a darkness underneath the playfulness, but it’s all carried off with a suave nonchalance. Nothing better demonstrates it than the line coupling, “Heartbreak is one thing, my ego’s another // I beg you, don’t embarrass me, motherf*cker.”

Much like the key change between the first chorus and second verse, ‘Please Please Please’ marks a very smart shift for Carpenter as an artist. The contrast between this and her last single, while both retaining her signature sound and catchiness, shows that playing the long game has absolutely paid off for the artist, and this could be her most exciting era yet.

Words by Rehana Nurmahi


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