Mabel - About Last Night (album) & Overthinking

Jark

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one of the most horrific pop girl campaigns in a while has its corpse revived with this quite decent 80s homage



it's a better effort than whatever Good Luck was, but the chorus is a touch flat. it feels very inevitable that she'll be dropped soon which is honestly a huge shame.
 

Rita

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Oh no! I didn’t think she was close to getting dropped, but WHY have they completely changed her sound?
 

Devil

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Oh don’t be dramatic Jark, you don’t get dropped in the streaming era, especially when you have the type of streams she does. There are no physical product costs or albums to do these days, and music videos and promotion costs etc are much lower. She just won’t be as high priority as she was a few years back.

Song seems good anyway.
 

Kratz

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Not surprised she isn’t priority with pedestrian fare like this. I like the song she did with Clean Bandit.
 

Christian

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She should have made High Expectations into an actual song rather than an interlude. Other than that, a bit of focus wouldn't go amiss.
 

Jark

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Oh don’t be dramatic Jark, you don’t get dropped in the streaming era, especially when you have the type of streams she does. There are no physical product costs or albums to do these days, and music videos and promotion costs etc are much lower. She just won’t be as high priority as she was a few years back.

Song seems good anyway.
dramatic? :D all the signs are there hun. they've been sitting on this album for one year now (!) waiting on her to score a big hit that hasn't come. they won't even allow her to do a new photoshoot for the single artworks so they're using rubbish images from the pre-Let Them Know shoot she did. music videos are not cheap by any means. Good Luck was a massive flop that was promptly brushed under the carpet. Let Them Know did do somewhat decently in the end, but it's almost a year old already.

she absolutely is in the danger zone in terms of being dropped. Rita Ora was dropped by Atlantic despite having healthy single sales and an album kept afloat by streaming.
 

Jark

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She should have made High Expectations into an actual song rather than an interlude. Other than that, a bit of focus wouldn't go amiss.
Oh no! I didn’t think she was close to getting dropped, but WHY have they completely changed her sound?

the problem is she's basically the anti-Dua Lipa. the label evidently wants her to have a Future Nostalgia-esque big pop girl breakout, but everything from this project feels extremely label/focus group-driven, rather than organic.

Dua glowed up her sound by finding the right collaborators to work with and spending time in the studio. also some good luck and hard work at her craft. they've been feeding Mabel basic songs that put her in a box she shouldn't be in and hoping it sticks, but none of it looks or sounds right for her.
 

Devil

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dramatic? :D all the signs are there hun. they've been sitting on this album for one year now (!) waiting on her to score a big hit that hasn't come. they won't even allow her to do a new photoshoot for the single artworks so they're using rubbish images from the pre-Let Them Know shoot she did. music videos are not cheap by any means. Good Luck was a massive flop that was promptly brushed under the carpet. Let Them Know did do somewhat decently in the end, but it's almost a year old already.

she absolutely is in the danger zone in terms of being dropped. Rita Ora was dropped by Atlantic despite having healthy single sales and an album kept afloat by streaming.

They may well be delaying any kind of album until they get a hit. But simply not bothering with an album and being dropped are rather different, especially as an album now is just a playlist to stream unless you are one of about 5 acts who sell enough physicals to turn a profit.

Given the ongoing streams from all her releases, along with I imagine somewhat ok endorsement and festival/touring opportunities, the money will be coming in, just not in Dua type volumes. So I’d imagine they’ll just put less money into her until something big comes through, but to drop someone with her kind of success in this digital era would be rather shocking I’d say. I mean even Ella fucking Henderson releases new songs every month and just had an album :D
 

Rita

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It is kind of like they are trying to throw her in to the Ella Henderson/Becky Hill rent a DJ to get a hit sound and I don’t understand WHY. She was far more successful with her own sound initially. SACK WHOEVER IS IN CHARGE right now.
 

FetchFugly

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I think this is a rather good song but her vocal doesn't completely suit it. I'll happily take it over her recent output though.
 

Pipo

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Oh don’t be dramatic Jark, you don’t get dropped in the streaming era,

I Was just talking about this with some friends last week, the downside being they're just clogging up Spotify with a shitload of songs that nobody cares about and nobody listens to. In pre-streaming era, we wouldn't have Mabel, Ava Max, or Camila Cabello. Sorry but it's the TRUTH.
 

VoR

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Interview in The Guardian today in which she's quite frank about her career trajectory, though possibly less so about her current material being entirely the stuff she wants to be making. Who knows though?


Growing up in Stockholm, Mabel wrote songs to calm her anxiety. What happens when your coping mechanism makes you anxious? The irony is even worse, she jokes. By 2019, “I was so busy I was hardly making music.” From the four days Mabel had in the studio that year, she felt painfully conscious that you’re “only as good as the last record”. Once a confident collaborator, now she questioned every note. “Too high? Too low? Too pop? Too Afrobeats, it’s not going to play on this radio station.” She sighs. “Exhausting.”

By December 2019, Mabel’s career was sparkling – Don’t Call Me Up was the year’s ninth biggest song in the UK – but her self-esteem had tanked. She went to the Maldives with an aunt and an “overflowing cup of negative thoughts about myself”. There she learned she was nominated for three Brits, up with Lewis Capaldi, Dave and Stormzy for the most nods. She wept. “I don’t think I’m crying because I’m happy,” she recalls. She flew home, determined to get herself together in the month before her headlining tour began, and she opened the Brits ceremony. By January, she was shut in her bedroom with the blinds down, holding her new dog, Imani.

---

Her therapist said Mabel needed serious time off – but she was determined not to cancel anything. “I’m just gonna get through the Brits,” she recalls now, crumbling. “I’m sorry, I talk about it all the time and it never makes me cry.” Her parents came on tour, where she slept all day. “Those shows actually kept me alive. Just seeing that you haven’t disappointed people.”

She made it through her Brits performance, too, though she skipped the afterparties and went to bed clutching her award: tangible validation. Then she read an article saying FKA twigs should have won. Mabel loves twigs. “But I remember thinking, this is because I’m just that shitty little pop star and she does things with integrity.” She read more comments: about her performance, her dress, her body. Yet another one told her to kill herself. She was mortified and asked if she could return the award. “It’s all I’ve ever wanted and now I’ve got it, I feel like I don’t deserve it.”

---

Whereas Mabel was “winging it” with High Expectations, she says About Last Night feels more intentional: “Doing all that work on myself put me in the driver’s seat in a different way.” But the reception has fallen short of her expectations. “I haven’t had the commercial success that I’ve had before, so far. That’s been quite difficult,” she admits.

Where she used to “moonwalk into the Top 10”, handbaggy lead single Let Them Know peaked at No 19, housey kiss-off Good Luck at 45. She’s noticed that when she Instagrams unmanicured photos – her dogs, her horse, her natural hair – her followers drop. “This can’t be the reality, that people bought into me because I wasn’t there,” she stresses. “I’m so excited to put this album out, but now that I’m really showing who I am, people don’t seem to think that’s good enough. So what do I need to do? Check out again?”

For a while she couldn’t listen to the new album, worried she had made a mistake. Then she realised she loved it, and that had to be enough. Plus, she says, the pop market has been “crazy” since the pandemic. “I’ve been quite sad about it. Everything feels so disposable. TikTok has given the power to kids, which I love – some kid will post something and then it’s in the Top 10. But I worry about that kid and the pressure of having to deliver again. I’m in my 20s and I still find that hard.”
 

Jark

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album coming July 15th

About-Last-Night.jpg


1. About Last Night… (intro)
2. Animal
3. Let Them Know
4. Shy
5. Definition
6. Good Luck
7. Take Your Name (Interlude)
8. Let Love Go
9. Overthinking
10. Crying on the Dance Floor
11. I Love Your Girl
12. When the Party’s Over
13. LOL (bonus track)

all songs co-written with Raye and/or MNEK
 

jivafox

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That is the most 2000s cover I’ve ever seen.

Are they coming around again ALREADY?!
 

Pipo

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It's a good thing many artists are coming forward expressing how they really feel about this whole TikTok situation. It really is ridiculous.
 

VoR

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Does it cost that much to release an album these days? I assume the physical pressing will be minimal.
 

Jark

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Does it cost that much to release an album these days? I assume the physical pressing will be minimal.
yes. paying producers and writers (some of whom will be on a deal where theyre paid royalties / only when the music is released), doing music videos, any promo costs etc (billboards, live perfs, hair and make up and styling teams). it stacks up!
 

Christian

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Oh dear. I thought things had gone a bit flat for her but I didn't realise things had been quite so difficult on a personal level.
 

Kratz

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Give her a bop and send her to Eurovision (and no, you’re not better than it, Mabel, if you’re reading)
 

Halli

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I really like Mabel but whatever is happening is just not happening for her- i feel like they were trying to make this era a bit like the last Dua Lipa one but its gone really wrong. She's releasing some bops but nothing really sticking..
 

Jark

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the last album has some fabulous songs though - Bad Behaviour is maybe her best and should've been a single. the orphaned single Boyfriend is also a huge banger. and then there's Fine Line...

on record at least I don't find her basic.
 

Christian

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the last album has some fabulous songs though - Bad Behaviour is maybe her best and should've been a single. the orphaned single Boyfriend is also a huge banger. and then there's Fine Line...

on record at least I don't find her basic.

Bad Behaviour is great, and there's some very decent other stuff on there.

"Loneliest Time Of The Year" is my favourite miserable Christmas song of recent years and the vocals on it are FANTASTIC.

I'd say Neneh needs to give her a kick up the bum but she isn't exactly the template for following up a hot debut album commercially. At least Homebrew sounds like it came directly from her though :D
 

Pipo

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Dua laying down a good album campaign/single roll out was not the plot twist I was expecting, especially since she struggled to release her debut album for nearly three years. I find it baffling other pop girls are mimicking it but failing at it completely.
 

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