(Released October 5th, 2017)
Before we get into the review, “About Time” is categorized as a “mixtape” rather than her debut album, but the Drake rule still stands, once a project is placed on digital/physical platforms for sell, to me, it’s an album.
“In the life of a rose
I’ve lived and died 100 times
You’ve watched me open, bloom, wilt, rot
And start over (Start over)”
The intro is in the form of a poem that Claudio admitted to “not knowing where it came from” or what she even meant, but it overall symbolizes and conveys change, it ends with the lines
“Will I have accepted the things that I cannot change?
And will I have changed the things I cannot accept?”
The 12-track project starts and pretty much stays at a slow tempo throughout while carrying tones of love, whether it be the yearning for it or questioning it. The first single “Unravel Me” leans towards the latter, it’s definitely the musical embodiment of “it’s not you, it’s me” sung with a sultry, calming voice accompanied by infectious harmonies and production to match she uses any excuse she can think of to evade a potential relationship from getting too serious. Whoever the guy is she’s singing about is probably still waiting for that text back.
On the opposite side of the spectrum is “Natural,” an ode to new found love, maybe this was before Sabrina left ol boy on read? The sentiments of being more trusting and open to a relationship are echoed on “Everlasting Love” she sings about facing her own flaws when it comes to approaching relationship while vowing to put those thoughts to the side this time around. “Stand Still” has grown to be my personal favorite track on the album, the production, lyrics, and vocal stylings fit perfectly together.
Things pick up a bit with “We Have Time” as a subtle bounce is added to the production, “Wait” sort of reminds me of elevator music but not in a boring way. It’s incorporation of live Jazz instruments give the track a more alive feeling. “Used To‘ resembles a More Life (see: “Passionfruit,” “Madiba Riddim,” or “Get It Together”). “Belong To You” is another great song, although I personally prefer the remix with 6LACK, I feel as though he was able to add elements that weren’t present on the original while not overdoing it or sacrificing the songs quality.
Overall, I really enjoyed “About Time.” Sabrina Claudio delivered on all cylinders. Lyrically she conveyed herself very well while finding the production that matched the tone she wanted to set. It’s a short project – a little over 40 minutes – so it’s not hard to listen to multiple times while getting lost in the music regardless of if you’re on the emo side of things or not. Sabrina Claudio seemed to have appeared almost out of nowhere, a single tweet suggesting that her music is given a chance has turned me into a person patiently awaiting her next move. I highly recommend “About Time” along with her previous EP “Confidently Lost,” some standouts from that project are “Too Little Too Late,” “Tell Me,” “I Don’t,” and “Orion’s Belt.”