Friday, July 12th, 2019

Mabel – Mad Love

Not Mabel to avoid comparisons…


Katherine St Asaph: Mabel is settling nicely into her existence as midcareer Rihanna; here she’s reached “Rude Boy.”

Scott Mildenhall: For someone with a very down-the-line voice, it’s perhaps appropriate that Mabel is making such down-the-line songs, but that doesn’t mean they’re not uninspiring. This is such a UK Hit In 2019 (ie feasibly a Dua Lipa cast-off, ie genuinely a Purcell & Mac co-write) that it almost seems unlikely that it’s captured attention. On the other hand, she’s almost caught up her mother for UK top 10s already, so maybe this is just the line about the radio in “Manchild” coming back to haunt her.

Ramzi Awn: Mabel’s latest is barely audible through all the vocal processing, and the lyrics are a laundry list of stolen gems. Sure, it makes for an instant party, but in the words of Cher Horowitz, “Mad Love” is a full-on Monet: from far away, it’s OK, but up close, it’s a big old mess. 

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: There must have been some kind of mistake–clearly, Ty Dolla $ign was supposed to be the best part of this and not the weirdest part of the serpentwithfeet song.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: “Don’t Call Me Up” had me fearing that Mabel was turning into one of the more generic pop stars of the moment. “Mad Love” confirms that she’s actually reached that point. Everything–from the repetition of various words to the “moody” finger snaps to the unspecific lyrics about affection–seems tailor-made to be harmless pop fit for tons of radio play. More than ever before, I’m unconvinced by anything she’s singing.

William John: Kudos to Mabel for apparently solving the Spotify pop algorithm, but she needs to add some new documents to her precedent folder. Without context, “Mad Love” raises few objections, but at the same time there’s little to differentiate it from or commend it over her previous tropical house missives. “You know I love the thrill,” Mabel sings – should that be true, then bring us some next time.

Alfred Soto: I’ve heard this before: Halsey, Rihanna, what? I’ll hear it again.

Reader average: [4.5] (2 votes)

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3 Responses to “Mabel – Mad Love”

  1. Besides the stuttering “duh’s,” Mabel’s newest single shares commonalities with other passing fads like The Chainsmoker’s “Don’t Let Me Down” in more ways than one (the anti-climatic hand-claps and the lyrical leftovers in the chorus, to name a few), but at least Daya had the expressive contrast between verse and pre-chorus that Mabel lacks in her sterile formulas.

  2. “Mad Love” resembles The Chainsmoker’s “Don’t Let Me Down” in more ways than one: the stuttering duh’s that fail to add rhythmic interest, generic hand-claps of sterile club-ready pop, the lyrical leftovers of each chorus. But at least Daya’s track had expressive contrast between verse, chorus, and bridge; Mabel’s — like its spot on the Billboard Hot 100 — is nowhere to be found.

  3. Young lady I’d like a word or two with your parents…..