Mabel is an artist that whose debut album has a lot of high expectations sitting around it. After breaking through the mainstream pop market with the infectious anthem ‘Don’t Call Me Up’ and her fiery collaborations ‘Ring Ring’ with Jax Jones and ‘Finders Keepers’ with Koju Funds, she became the “IT” girl that everyone wanted to get to know. So it only seemed appropriate that she owned that sentiment and named the record just that. But it also cites an exploration for the high expectations she has in her personal life for love and her personal goals to succeed.
Splitting the album up into different segments through the use of interludes, she soothingly sings about her dark thoughts in an honest and refreshing way. But its the outro that leaves the perfect last impression on the listener. “The higher up we go and the farther we climbing, the more there is to lose” she confesses on the vulnerability she is unravelling as she is falling in love and opening herself up to someone new. Giving the trust to the other person she declares; “I got high expectations. You gonna have to get this right” in her typical sassy and honest fashion which captures the whole attitude of the record. There is pure emotion and there is also a playful wit that comes from her personality and branding.
‘Don’t Call Me Up’ is the albums strongest pop moment closely followed by the singles ‘Mad Love’ and ‘Bad Behaviour’ which have a unique energy about them, but there are also some other future hits amongst the collection. ‘FML’ is super strong and will become a fan favourite while ‘Selfish Love’ and ‘Put Your Name On It’ both scream future hits with their infectious and memorable hooks. Their rhythmic vibe perfectly continues the sound she’s cemented with her RNB-pop fusion.
Stripping this sound back slightly to give you more of a relaxed RNB delivery, ‘We Don’t Say…’ and ‘Trouble’ are very strong but it’s the relatable ‘Ok (Anxiety Anthem) that tackles her insecurities and mental health issues in a relatable way. “Wake up with a knot in my chest. Tried everything just to get out of bed. It ain’t working, it ain’t working. Sometimes, I can get like this. I cover it up with a smile on my face. But I’m hurting, I’m still hurting” she admits during the first verse before reminding listeners that things do get better during the chorus. “Cause it’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay if you feel the pain. Don’t gotta wipe your tears away. Tomorrow’s another day”.
Continuing the honest and free flowing nature of the soothing delivery, ‘I Belong To Me’ is the heartbreak anthem you deserve to blast and cry to. It’s an empowering moment of realising that you were yourself before that person and you will be yourself after them. They never owned you, and that’s the sort of self-love we need in our lives.
From start to finish, ‘High Expectations’ does live up to those expectations. It’s exactly what you expected from her. It’s soulful, playful and real and will allow her to continue touring the world with those big singalong moments.
Purchase a copy of ‘High Expectations’ from Sanity HERE; https://www.sanity.com.au/products/2430419/High-Expectations