I remember listening to “Belong to You” for the first time. There’s a passionate feeling it leaves on you when that chorus hits. I just couldn’t stop myself from appreciating her soft but sexy voice and the equally soft synth sound. That was how I was introduced to Sabrina Claudio and it was enough for me to follow her upcoming projects.
The album Truth Is does not sound much different from her previous works but even though most of it sounds similar, I can’t help myself wishing there were more songs on the album. It feels like the instrumentals were specifically produced for her angelic voice. No other artist could have the same effects. This album, in particular, is about her going through a heartbreak and healing process.
The album starts with “Take One to the Head” which is enough for her fans to get into the album. It sounds familiar to her fans, reassuring them the album won’t be different from her normal style. Her voice, however, sounds low, like she’s in pain. Sometimes words aren’t enough to explain how it feels so she explains through her voice. She’d rather take on to the head than hear her lover’s break up words. It’s not the only words that hurt her, it’s the venom of the toxic relationship too.
The following title track is even slower with a distinct mix of guitar and violin strings in the chorus. It’s produced by Stephan Moccio who is different from her general producers STINT and Bad Money. It’s not that common anymore to hear raw string sounds in songs. I think it makes the listener appreciate the song more. Personally, I love the violin and it makes this song sound so divine. Then it switches to a more upbeat synth song “Rumors” in which she collaborates with ZAYN. This is a song about desire basically rather than heartbreak. This song, in particular, is one of my favorites in the album because of the personal connection and beat. His influence is apparent because the beat sounds more similar to ZAYN’s sounds in his albums. Most importantly, Claudio’s voice and Zayn’s delicate voice fall in perfectly with each other. I hope Zayn gives her a place in one of his new songs.
The album switches completely with the slowest song in the album, “Hurt People.” With easy guitar strings, she sings about how to heal a broken heart with the help of a new love but as most people know, this is an unsuccessful effort. She says it too, “hurt people hurt people.” Then Claudio switches to the heavier song “On My Shoulders” in which she compares demons in her mind to her broken trust. She wants to trust his love and love him once again but the demons stop her. I personally love this metaphor of broken trust and trust issues. There are two devils on her shoulder – there’s no angel anymore – and she can’t keep herself from listening to them. The demons in her mind have possessed her and they won’t let her trust her lover anymore even though she wants to.
With the sixth track, fans get an idea of why she is going through a heartbreak. In “Me in Her,” which is another personal favorite of mine, Claudio compares herself to the new girl of her ex-lover. Even though the new girl looks similar to Claudio, she’s missing a piece of her heart. Her ex can keep trying to find someone similar to her, but no one could never fill that void.
With “I Don’t Mean To,” the album speeds up a bit. It’s a self-accusation song in which she asks questions herself, a normal stage of heartbreak. In “As Long As You’re Sleep” she switches to anger and letting go from that guilty self-accusation. She’s still upset about the new girl but she’s not jealous because she’s not “missing on anything.”
My favorite track on the album, “Problem with You,” is a simple song about not being able to get someone out of your mind. But with the first chorus, strong beats come in and Claudio’s catchy singing style steals me and gets me to sing the song with her immediately. I love the beats in particular in this track and it’s no surprise that it’s produced by her significant, and two of my favorite, producers Sad Money and STINT.
The last track, “Holding the Gun” was the first single released from the album which alerts the detail-oriented fans considering the album starts with “Take One to the Head.” It’s a pleasing depiction of the beginning and ending stages of heartbreak. “Holding the Gun” has alluring violin sounds on the chorus with a different producer, Mike Woods. The song seems like it’s inspired by Bonnie & Clyde. She’d go until the end, even hold the gun for her lover. If we look at this album as a story, this might also be her declaring her love for her ex; no matter what happens between them, she will always love him.
In general, the album does not sound much different from her previous works. Her sounds are soft, smooth and sexy as usual. I don’t think Claudio will change her sound in any near future which can be good for her loyal fans. However, if you’re someone who likes to listen to smooth and relaxing contemporary R&B with a beautiful voice, this album definitely won’t let you down.