“Emails i can’t send” by Sabrina Carpenter isn’t appreciated enough


The cover art for Sabrina Carpenter’s fifth album, emails i can’t send.

During the short summer days, I was consistently looking for new things to keep me entertained. Alongside other various activities, my main entertainment was music. With lead singles that drew me in and a mid-July yearning for something fresh, emails i can’t send was full of quality songs to keep me occupied.

Track 1: “emails i can’t send”

The album begins with a melancholic piano ballad. Here, Carpenter describes a father figure who is unfaithful and tears apart his family, leaving lasting effects on her and her future relationships. As a fan of more downcast songs, this title track is one of my favorites on the record.

Track 2: “Vicious”

“Vicious” was the last single released before the album’s launch. Coming out two weeks prior, the cover of the single is the same as the album cover. The tune builds up to a bridge with a staticky feel that reaches a climax within the song both emotionally and production-wise. From when “Vicious” first came out to now, the intensity of the bridge left positive marks on my mental perception of the overall song.

Track 3: “Read your Mind”

In this track, Carpenter illustrates a confusing romance with a significant other that sends mixed signals and often contradicts themselves. In the ‘storyline’ section provided by Spotify under the song’s lyrics, she writes, “if someone were to be a human question mark, this song is for them.” To be frank, this song isn’t one of my favorites. It’s an exceptional song, but it wasn’t memorable enough for me to leave it on repeat.

Track 4: “Tornado Warnings”

Within “Tornado Warnings,” Carpenter tells the tale of a wasted therapy session. The song directly articulates that she’s lying to her therapist, with the lyrics “If I could convince him if he doesn’t see it, then maybe it doesn’t exist” as an account of her inner reasoning. She knows this person is the last thing that needs to be on her mind and appears to be in a bit of denial. This was another song I thoroughly enjoyed, but didn’t see myself adding it to any of my playlists.

Track 5: “because i liked a boy”

When the album was released, “because i liked a boy” came accompanied by a music video showcasing Carpenter in various circus-themed scenes. The song directly alludes to the drama of early 2021 with Olivia Rodrigo, Joshua Bassett, and Carpenter, stemming from Rodrigo’s song “driver’s license.” Carpenter contrasts all the innocently normal aspects of her and Bassett’s relationship with the outcome after it blew up. That being said, this song is insanely catchy. As I’m going about my day, I’ll suddenly discover the chorus on loop in my mind, and I’m perfectly fine with that.

Track 6: “Already Over”

The upbeat, fast-paced style of “Already Over” only contributes to the simultaneously calm aura in the verses and leads smoothly into the stronger-spirited chorus. Carpenter illustrates a never-ending romance where leaving is difficult considering the circumstance of all the other failed attempts. This track is another that will play in your head consistently; although, in my opinion, that’s considered a good thing.

Track 7: “how many things”

In “how many things”, Carpenter covers the feeling of everything reminding you of someone and wondering how often they think about you. Specifically, how many things they think about before they think about you. This track is undoubtedly on my top three songs list if I had to make one. The lyrics flow together in a slow, serene echo of her inner thoughts that resonate with the listener.

The lyrics flow together in a slow, serene echo of her inner thoughts that resonate with the listener.

Track 8: “bet u wanna”

“Bet u wanna” has an alluring quality that describes all the things Carpenter bets her ex-partner wishes they could do now that they’ve taken her for granted and let her down. Although I don’t listen to it as often, the simple lyrics and repetition make for a delightful melody.

Track 9: “Nonsense”

Another song that has found its way into my mental top three is “Nonsense.” The simple yet clever lyrics flow together into an extremely catchy pop track while still containing a unique feel that differentiates the song from others. Carpenter illustrates the sensation of “talking nonsense” when you have feelings for someone with a hopeful sound.

Track 10: “Fast Times”

The hasty beat and feel of this song create a fast-going energy that ties to the fast-going energy of the relationship described in the song. “Fast Times” was the second single, and my first impressions were rather negative. However, upon more listening, the song has grown on me a considerable amount.

Track 11: “skinny dipping”

In this lead single from the album, Carpenter focuses on the metaphor of skinny dipping in water under a bridge. The relaxed beat and reminiscent lyrics dive into the idea of embracing a past relationship while acknowledging how you’ve both changed for the better. This song is another favorite of mine that got me anticipating the full album.

Track 12: “Bad for Business”

“Bad for Business” exhibits a calm energy when Carpenter sings about a relationship that’s good for her but bad for business, which tears her apart. This track isn’t one I listen to often, and I fear it’s one of the least favorable on the album for me.

Track 13: “decode”

To wrap it all up, Carpenter ends with “decode.” This song is the perfect way to end a phenomenal album. “Decode” narrates the ending of a relationship where she’s overanalyzed every aspect to the point where “there’s nothing left to decode.” The almost tired aura of the song gets her point across exactly as intended. She’s been over it all so many times and is finally coming to a point of closure as the album comes to a close as well. 

Emails i can’t send is a remarkable album that deserves far more recognition than it’s gotten, especially compared to albums by similar artists. Each song is its own while still letting the record flow wonderfully together as a whole.