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“Fruitcake” by Sabrina Carpenter: a track-by-track review

Fruitcake+was+released+on+Nov.+17.+Photo+Courtesy+of+Sabrina+Carpenter+%2F+Hollywood+Records+%2F+Island+Records
“Fruitcake” was released on Nov. 17. Photo Courtesy of Sabrina Carpenter / Hollywood Records / Island Records

1. “A Nonsense Christmas”

Carpenter starts off the EP with a spin on her highest-charting song, “Nonsense”. Just like the original, it’s full of tongue-in-cheek jokes and has a lighthearted tone. Her trademark witty lyrics and bright soprano vocals make “A Nonsense Christmas” a perfect poppy holiday hit, but maybe not for children.

2.“buy me presents”

Carpenter keeps the second song on the record light and bouncy, teasingly comparing her lover to Santa. “If you don’t wanna buy me presents/…/I know somebody who will,” she sings over smooth, airy production by John Ryan. There’s also a brilliant little sax solo before the final chorus.

3. “santa doesn’t know you like i do”

The tone shifts into an adorable love ballad, where Carpenter pleads with a lover to spend the holidays with her. She chooses a spoken-word bridge (“You’re gonna leave me all alone?/On Christmas?”). While some may think this doesn’t fit perfectly with the song, Carpenter’s determination to not take herself too seriously actually makes the entire project feel more cohesive. 

4. “cindy lou who”

A surprising stand-out on an otherwise lighthearted EP, “cindy lou who” is a profoundly sad piano-backed ode to the woman her ex has fallen for. The title references a key character in The Grinch, a little girl mostly characterized by her sweetness and innocence. If it weren’t for a few references to Christmastime (“There’s red and green everywhere/ but I’m so blue”), this bittersweet song could easily have a place on one of Carpenter’s full-length albums.

5. “is it new years yet”

Carpenter and her producer John Ryan lighten up again with the fifth track, a much bouncier song where she longs for the end of the pervasive holiday season and a new beginning. She even references the title of her EP—“Fruitcake just makes me sick”—at the end of a list of general grievances about spending the holidays single (“Couples all around me, damn, it hurts”). 

6. “white xmas”

The EP closes with a cover of “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin, where Carpenter lets her vocals shine over a scaled-back production, even going fully acapella at certain points. While it’s always a treat to hear her voice, this may be the only song on the EP worth a skip from time to time. As the singer herself says in “is it new years yet”: “the songs are catchy, but they’re overplayed”.

 

Overall, “Fruitcake” is a delightful, bubbly addition to Sabrina Carpenter’s discography that shows off her playful personality and incredible vocals. While her lyricism isn’t as hard-hitting as a full-length project like “emails i can’t send,” Carpenter is clearly just having some holiday fun. And it’s infectious. “Fruitcake” is a solid four stars, and you can listen on Spotify, Apple Music, or Youtube Music to add some fresh songs to your holiday playlist.

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About the Contributor
Anita Gaenko, Coverage Editor
Anita is currently a senior and has been part of the Huron Emery for all of her four years at Huron. She is part of Science Bowl and Ethics Bowl and in her free time (when she isn't working on the Emery) she loves to listen to music and hang out with her friends. Anita's favorite movie is The Princess Bride and she is willing to passionately defend this choice. Her favorite flavor of ice cream is chocolate chip cookie dough.
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