Sabrina Claudio is already being hailed as the “the future of R&B.” So, naturally, the pressure to deliver is on, whether she likes it or not. Thankfully, About Time manages to give us a beautiful yet slow showcase of her talent. The subject matter may not amaze you, but Sabrina’s vocals and production will certainly surprise you.
Even when just speaking normally in “About Time (Intro)” Sabrina Claudio pulls the listener in with her breathy, silky voice.
“Will I have accepted the things I cannot change, and will I have changed the things I cannot accept?”
We may have heard such a statement in some old self-help book we threw away ages ago, but it’s her delivery that makes it become pleasantly thought-provoking. “Natural” summarizes About Time with its lyrics of “quickly falling in love” and it feeling, well, “natural.” Sabrina opens the track demonstrating some superlative self-harmonizing, and it’s quickly apparent why someone would boast about her potential talent.
“Belong To You” drifts down like morning fog, engulfing us with a need to be snuggled up with our imaginary boyfriends. Lyrics like “Grab hold of me, Gentle love but touch passionately” do nothing to dismiss these fantasies. They only serve to allow the following material to build upon the established theme. The low rumbling vocals in the chorus are also a nice touch. We can feel the singer’s need for companionship.
Of course, things quickly dial up with “Unravel Me,” another single from the album.
“Something in the sun or the air, Is making me wanna run away from here”
Here the production truly gets a chance to shine as “Unravel” is melodically the best track on the album and most likely a fan-favorite.
Our trip through those clouds begins to slow down upon our descent into “Stand Still.” Production-wise, this is the album’s most polished song. Nearly every vocal effect, drum click, and synth riff cluster together in perfect harmony. Sabrina Claudio is at her best vocally when she has room to maneuver, and the mostly sparse production offers plenty of that here. The lyrics “Time is being wasted screaming, Not listen I promise you’ll heal me better” will make you question exactly what you expect out of a relationship.
And just before you touch the ground, the bouncy “Used To” brings the journey to a close. Claudio finds time to be introspective even during an uptempo song, and it works for the most part. In fact, I dare say this could become a trademark of hers. Lord knows we need more uptempos in today’s depressing musical landscape. Here’s to hoping.
So, while About Time doesn’t break the ground it needs to, it more than succeeds in showing off Sabrina’s rich potential as both a songwriter and a vocalist. As “the future of R&B,” she has a lot to prove. Luckily, she has the talent to become something greater.