Sabrina Claudio gives fans a cathartic experience on ‘Truth Is’

Sabrina Claudio
Truth Is

SC Entertainment · October 4, 2019

Sabrina Claudio’s latest release Truth Is analyzes her escape from an emotionally abusive relationship. As listeners tune in to Claudio’s seductive record, the Miami singer expresses her pain through vivid imagery and intense emotions. She begins the piece by thinking it’s her own fault for being damaged emotionally, but by the end she brokenly accepts that even those who inhabit our hearts can disconnect us from the people we once were and the trust we once held. The album brings up emotions you didn’t think you still felt. It’s lovely, heartbreaking, and real.

While the 23-year-old’s past two full-length albums were categorized as R&B/Soul, this is Claudio’s first official pop record. Though her genre might have changed, over the last three albums Claudio has successfully maintained her style while changing her sound. Each record has carried a theme of its own. In her 2017 record About Time, Claudio’s album was comprised of a narrative full of heavy bass and upbeat tracks. While About Time focuses on the excitement of falling in love, her following 2018 release No Rain, No Flowers is a sensual piece that, while an easy listen, is comprised of repetitive beats and lyrics and based on the ending of a relationship. Truth Is resembles Claudio’s growth as an artist and as a human being, as her latest release is a prime balance between her previous two albums.

In terms of Claudio’s lyrics, melodies and track composition, her piece as a whole vibes with Billie Eilish’s WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP WHERE DO WE GO? on countless levels. Similar to Eilish, Claudio doesn’t express herself mercifully, but rather, she holds nothing back. Her lyricism dives deep into the dark and broken pockets of her heart, as well as the dopamine-deprived regions of her mind. Her vocals resemble Eilish’s tauntingly beautiful harmonies. And though her music will tear down the walls listeners have tried so hard to keep up, Claudio’s record is about coming to terms with her broken parts and hoping that one day she can figure out how to put herself back together.

From the first track “Take One To the Head,” Claudio doesn’t waste any time and goes off immediately. The introductory track establishes Truth Is as a darker compilation in contrast to her past albums. As she sings about her toxic relationship, she sings, “Your love’s gone toxic, unresponsive/All your words have slurred/While you’re destroying, I’ll be numbing.” For Claudio, she’s become so acquainted with this abuse that she doesn’t even feel her pain anymore. The album’s lead single “Truth Is” follows the initial track, and could make any listener unlock the watergates and cry a river. Claudio’s incorporation of her Hispanic heritage is prominent in the composition of the track. She also includes a Spanish version of the track as the finale. “Truth Is” is a powerful piece of the record as a whole. It is here where her vocals are in their purest form, and she is the most honest with herself and the listener.

The rest of the album is comprised of Claudio coming to terms with the reality of her relationship. “Hurt People” is a guilt trip-filled track used as an apology to Claudio’s broken love. The simple acoustics and vocals of the track ironically resembles the message behind Claudio’s painful realization: learning how to love is a process of falling apart and taping ourselves back together, even if it starts with good intentions. From the first few measures of “On My Shoulders,” Claudio seduces the listener into following her into the darker consequences of abusive relationships. She transitions to a focus on her mental health, and how her experience with love has been detrimental to it. Similar to Eilish’s style, Claudio describes how her demons have made her possessive due to the lack of security her partner provides her. In “Problem With You,” she acknowledges her issues with obsession and paranoia. The beauty of the song, like the appearance of a relationship, is so distracting that you almost forget the destructive impact these issues have on a person. But by the end of the track the listener realizes the relationship isn’t lovely, but toxic.

Claudio concludes the album with “Holding the Gun” wherein she further stresses the unfortunate reality of manipulative relationships — no matter how much your partner puts you through, you stand by them because you still, despite the abuse, love them. And no matter how hard this album might be for some to listen to because of Claudio’s authentic display of abusive relationships, you will love it, too.

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