The student-run online newspaper for Starr's Mill High School

The Prowler

The student-run online newspaper for Starr's Mill High School

The Prowler

The student-run online newspaper for Starr's Mill High School

The Prowler

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Quick Hit with Page Barksdale

“decode” by Sabrina Carpenter
Island Records
“decode” by Sabrina Carpenter divulges into trying to understand and save a failing relationship. This song is off Carpenter’s fifth album, “emails i can’t send,” and came out in 2022.

Romantic relationships are intricate and deeply complicated things. Feeling like you have to constantly take into account every sigh, every pause, every perceived slight coming from your significant other is exhausting and emotionally draining. Trying to understand what you could have possibly done to make them pull away is confusing and extremely difficult and ultimately, useless. 

You will never know what a person is truly feeling toward you. No one is 100 percent honest in their words.

In the song “decode,” Sabrina Carpenter perfectly conveys how trying to dissect or “decode” someone’s every mannerism is difficult and pointless. The song goes over the fruitless efforts of overanalyzing every little thing in a failing relationship. Reading between the lines and constantly trying to fix everything does not end well. 

The song starts out with listing the things that her presumed partner did in the relationship that showed they did not want to stay. She then goes over all the efforts she made to try and understand her complicated significant other: “Re-read every single undertone and I Overanalyzed it, front, back, and beside it. Where else can we go? There’s nothing left here to decode.” This categorizes their interactions as something with hidden messages or meanings, something she struggled to understand and ultimately never could. 

In the second verse, she looks at the positive effects from giving up on trying to understand someone who did not love her the way she loved him: “There’s a weight off my shoulders now that I don’t chase you […] Learning from you that I can walk away, too.” She was the one who ended things because of how unwanted she felt in the relationship. She was sick and tired of trying to understand all her partner’s hidden messages, deciding to end things herself. 

The song repeats the chorus twice more, showcasing that she was desperately reading into every word he said, begging for clues on how he was feeling. 

It ends with the continued repeating of “There’s nothing, there’s nothing left here to decode,” followed by an audio clip from a video of Carpenter saying, “I wanna make a video to our future selves.” This short audio is from a video of Carpenter with her significant other, prior to the break up. 

Decode” is the 13th and final track off of Sabrina Carpenter’s fifth studio album, “emails i can’t send,” released in 2022. Following the success of this album, she released the extended version, “emails i can’t send fwd,” in 2023, which included an additional four songs. 

Despite most of Carpenter’s music being upbeat and radio-worthy, “decode” encapsulates deep emotions such as betrayal, romantic inadequacy, frustration, and attempts at moving on. 

You can listen to Sabrina Carpenter’s “decode” on all streaming platforms.

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