Music

Mabel - "Boyfriend" (Singles Going Steady)

Photo: Courtesy of Capitol Music Group

Mabel's "Boyfriend" feels like little more than a stepping stone, something to keep her name on people's tongues following her big win at the Brit awards.

Ian Rushbury: Mabel and her crew of young laydeez strut into view, she strikes a pose and then spends the next four minutes telling us about how unlucky she is in love. She does seem conflicted, however. "Then you know a man ain't something I need," she says. Mabel, please make up your mind! The drum machine ticks along, the bass synths go squelch, and Mabel looks disparagingly at a generic selection of "good looking guyz" while singing "where you are, where you at?" She could have saved herself – and us – time and effort by having a look at Match.com before she recorded this. [4/10]

Mike Schiller: There's nothing particularly awful about Mabel's new single "Boyfriend", but there's nothing particularly noteworthy about it either. It sounds like it was made in whatever factory birthed every other peppy pop song in the last ten years. It has a video that was probably going for something vaguely empowering in its Minority Report menu interfaces and girl-creates-boy themes. Mabel's voice is appealing, if forgettable. Mabel has shown flashes of something special in the last few years, and her mother famously leaned in to pop stardom before spending decades doing interesting, multifaceted work. Maybe she's following in those particular footsteps, establishing her name before truly exploring her art. Whatever her aims, "Boyfriend" feels like little more than a stepping stone, something to keep her name on people's tongues following her big win at the Brit awards, on her way to eventually creating something of substance. [4/10]

Peter Griffiths: She seems to boringly want some sort of boyfriend with a bit of autotune over the top. Tell me about it. [5/10]

Mick Jacobs: Message for Mabel: more cowbell. At least something different than her standard sound, which has become way too predictable. [4/10]

SCORE: 4.25

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