Single Review: Please Please Please by Sabrina Carpenter

Amid the continuous reign of “Espresso” on the Billboards charts, recently Sabrina Carpenter graced her fans with a new single, “Please Please Please.” In tandem with the single release, Carpenter also announced the upcoming release of her new album, Short n’ Sweet. The single—produced by Jack Antonoff— has taken over social media and streaming services, bolstering Carpenter’s place as one of the current beloved “pop girls.”

Though many people lost faith in Antonoff’s repetitive use of the synthesizer after the release of Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department, but its presence on “Please Please Please” effectively blends with the twangy electric guitar to create an instrumental that’s “Song of the Summer” worthy. Her sliding vocals align with the pleading title and lyrics. “I promise ‘em that you’re different and everyone makes mistakes/But just don’t,” she sings, hoping her boyfriend won’t disappoint her friends like the men of her past did. The instrumentals drop back in the chorus so the lyrics can be heard loud and clear, even with her soft delivery. The chorus contains enormous layered harmonies on the lyrics “Please, please, please” that make her desperation clear through angelic, supplicated vocals. The catchiest part of the song comes in the second half of the chorus, where Sabrina sings “Heartbreak is one thing, my ego’s another/I beg you, don’t embarrass me, motherfucker.” Her pronunciation exhibits a sound that leans more towards country, which intrigues listeners.

The music video—directed by Bardia Zeinali—comically displays the underlying edge of the song. Carpenters plays a bombshell who meets a charming criminal in jail just before she is released, and her rumored boyfriend and the potential subject of the song, Barry Kheogan, takes on the role of the jailbird. Throughout the video, Carpenter’s character continuously has to break Kheogan’s character out of jail and grows more irritated with him as his crimes add up. This metaphor aligns perfectly with the track’s lyrical content, as it is very similar to the pressure she likely feels to defend her significant other’s actions due to her growing place in the spotlight. The video also plays on irony, as the video is her first public display of her relationship with Kheogan and the song speaks of an actor and a relationship she’d prefer to hide. The 60s-influenced aesthetic that Carpenter has taken on for the Short n’ Sweet era is also present, especially when she meets Kheogan for a jail visit in cat-eye sunglasses and a silk scarf around her voluminous hair.

Many people on social media have interpreted the song how Carpenter intended. TikTok users are lipsyncing to the lyrics, warning their significant others to not humiliate them, or discussing how their exes embarrassed them in the past. From failed talking stages to called-off engagements, a supportive community has been created amongst those who have felt ashamed by their lover’s actions. Most of the lipsyncers become increasingly angry when they reach the line that ends in profanity, creating a relatable scenario for their audience. Some have also gotten creative and have used the line “Don’t bring me to tears when I just did my makeup so nice,” to show off stunning make looks when the song transitions into the following lyrics.

The song’s popularity on social media became clear when she performed the song live for the first time at the Governer’s Ball music festival and the entire audience the majority of the audience sang the lyrics back to her word-for-word just two days after the song’s release. The song has also reached the top of streaming service charts and has earned immense streaming numbers across multiple platforms. After the notable success of “Espresso” and “Please Please Please,” fans are eager for the release of Short n’ Sweet, which will be available to listeners everywhere on August 23.


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