Tuesday, April 28th, 2020

Mabel – Boyfriend

But where does Best Coast rank?


Wayne Weizhen Zhang: Boyfriend < Boyfriend ≤ Boyfriend < Boyfriend ≤ Boyfriend ≤ Boyfriend < Boyfriend < Boyfriend

Leah Isobel: There’s something particularly dispiriting about a song that calls to “all my girls around the world” but can’t come up with a use for that unity beyond, uh, heterosexuality. It’s not that Mabel shouldn’t sing about desire or sex, but putting it in these faux-empowering terms feels alienating and renders the sample cheerily hollow in a Seven Dwarfs way. Turns out modern love is just capitalism, babes!

Katherine St Asaph: Another case of Mabel’s talent wasted on retreads, this time of “Soldier” by Destiny’s Child. Her songwriters felt compelled to qualify a song that goes “I want a boyfriend” 12 times with “a man ain’t something I need”: a sign of the times, perhaps good for girls, not good for convincing music.

Alfred Soto: On first listen a not charmless retread of a Dua Lipa track; on second listen the trop house cliches chase Mabel out of the room. 

Tim de Reuse: How do we justify tropical bells in 2020? Uh, double them over the kick-bassline, I guess. Yeah! That’s a cool effect. Don’t think I’ve heard that before. What else we got? Oh, a scatted melodic hook? Uh, wait, hold on, are you sure —

Katie Gill: Steve Mac is a writer and producer who’s very good at creating generic yet kind of obnoxious pop songs that seem destined to shoot to the top of the charts because they’re annoying enough to be memorable but inoffensive enough to middle of the Spotify playlist fodder. “Boyfriend” is not gonna win any awards or be on anyone’s Top 10 list, but there’s a high chance that the song might make it big and stick around based on predictability alone. The song’s biggest crime is that absolutely annoying drop but other then that yeah, it’s okay, I won’t skip over it when the algorithm shoves it in an auto-generated Youtube playlist of hot pop songs that Google wants me to listen to. It’s white bread pop music.

Nina Lea: Every new Mabel single slides her further down the hill into algorithm-optimized, generic tropical house pop mindlessness. The lyrics sound like they’ve been written by a bot, like they should be piped through the dressing-room speakers of a Forever 21. The music video has Mabel computer-generating her dream guy, but really what’s been computer generated is this entire song. 

Reader average: [4] (1 vote)

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6 Responses to “Mabel – Boyfriend”

  1. holy fuck the Selena Gomez “Boyfriend” is amazing

  2. Wayne, what about Alphabeat’s Boyfriend? Where does that fit in your ratings? https://youtu.be/q53ztaF4scU

  3. I’d still put Ashlee Simpson’s “Boyfriend” at the top but the Gomez track is really good.

  4. Wayne, this blurb is brilliant!!

  5. Alphabeat is somewhere toward the bottom, Ashlee is somewhere in the middle. But all this is proving is that this iteration of a song called boyfriend really just… not good haha

  6. “Boyfriend”s and have nothing on “Girlfriend”s, that’s for sure.

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