Our top 10 Mabel songs list digs deep into the music of an English singer-songwriter best known for her success in the pop/R&B scene. Born in 1996, Mabel has her love for music inspired by her very own parents. Her mother, Neneh Cherry, is the Swedish singer-songwriter known for her 1988 chart-topping hit “Buffalo Stance” and membership in the post-punk outfit The Slits. On the other hand, her dad Cameron McVey is a record producer revered for his work with Sugababes, Massive Attack, and Portishead.
Despite being born into a highly talented family, Mabel carved her own path becoming one of the admirable treasures in the UK pop/R&B scene. With only two studio albums and five extended plays, Mabel has earned both critical and commercial acclaim, winning several awards from numerous nominations. The singer has also toured with distinguished artists including LANY, Harry Styles, and Khalid.
Mabel’s Career Beginnings and Breakthrough
After finishing her professional music studies, Mabel went on to issue her debut single “Know Me Better” in 2015 on her personal SoundCloud. The song slowly gained the attention of pop/R&B fans including the Irish DJ Annie Mac of BBC Radio 1. “Know Me Better” was followed by two more singles including “My Boy My Town” in 2015, and “Thinking of You” in 2016. However, none of these songs were enough to catapult Mabel to mainstream success on a global platform.
Eventually, Mabel got her big break in May 2017 after she issued the hit “Finders Keepers.” The song was a collaborative effort between Mabel and Kojo Funds, a British rapper best known for his 2018 collaborative hit “Check” with Raye. “Finders Keepers” was both a massive mainstream and commercial success in the UK, hoisting Mabel’s career to global status.
Mabel’s Album Releases over the Years
In May 2017, Mabel issued her debut extended play Bedroom, which featured her breakthrough single “Finders Keepers.” Like all of her major records, Bedroom was issued through Polydor Records. Later in 2017, Mabel issued her debut mixtape entitled Ivy to Roses. Among the personnel tasked with the production of Ivy to Roses is Steve Mac, a producer who has also worked with distinguished artists such as Ed Sheeran, Ann-Marie, BTS, Westlife, Marshmello, The Chainsmokers, and Kelly Clarkson.
Mabel’s hit “Finders Keepers” and the single “Begging” are among the songs that were featured on this album. A 2019 reissue of the album featured some of the best Mabel songs including “Fine Line” and “One Shot.” Ivy to Roses was a mainstream success, rising to number twenty-eight on the UK Albums Chart. The album was a commercial success receiving gold certification in the United Kingdom.
Eventually, Mabel released her debut studio album High Expectations in August 2019. High Expectations is home to some of the best Mabel songs including “Don’t Call Me Up,” “Mad Love,” “Bad Behaviour,” and “OK (Anxiety Anthem).” The album rose to a peak position of number one hundred and ninety-eight on the Billboard 200, peaking at number three on the UK Albums Chart. High Expectations sold over three hundred thousand copies in the UK hence deserving of BPI’s platinum certification.
In July 2022, Mabel issued her sophomore studio album, About Last Night… Unlike the singer’s debut album which was purely a pop/R&B record, About Last Night… finds Mabel exploring a blend of pop, R&B, house, and disco sound influences. “Let Them Know,” “Overthinking,” and “Good Luck” are some of the most popular songs by Mabel from the album.
About Last Night… performed better than High Expectations on the UK Albums Chart, peaking at number two. The album was only surpassed on the chart by Harry Styles’ third studio album Harry’s House. Unfortunately, About Last Night… never made it to the Billboard 200 Chart. Its sales also failed to surpass those of Mabel’s debut studio album High Expectations. Jax Jones, Galantis, Lil Tecca, and 24kGoldn are some of the top musicians featured on About Last Night…
Mabel’s Other Musical Pursuits, Accolades, and Legacy
Since her debut in 2015, Mabel has maintained her status as one of the most influential pop/R&B English chanteuses. In her over seven years in the music scene, Mabel has worked with numerous reputable artists including Raye, Stefflon Don, Tiesto, AJ Tracey, Clean Bandit, and Joel Corry to name a few. Mabel has also won several accolades with her most definitive one being the British Female Solo Artist accolade at the 2020 Brit Awards ceremony. Here we present the ten best Mabel songs of all time.
#10- Good Luck ft. Jax Jones and Galantis
Ushering us to the ten best Mabel songs list is the radiant hit “Good Luck.” The song is a collaborative effort between Mabel, Jax Jones, and the Swedish electronic duo Galantis. “Good Luck” was first teased as the music video of “Let Them Know” approached the end. Eventually, “Good Luck” was released and featured on Mabel’s sophomore studio album About Last Night…
“Good Luck” has its lyrics alluding to Mabel’s cynical “best wishes” to boys who are always in pursuit of some new love, hopping from one lady to another. In their pursuits, Mabel states that they miss out on true love, i.e., Love like hers’. “Good Luck” managed to rise to number forty-five on the UK Singles Chart.
#9- Loneliest Time of the Year
The Christmas season is filled with glamour with songs like “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey dominating the mainstream charts. While most might wish for a merry Christmas, Mabel seems to have been experiencing her own version of a “Blue Christmas” like Elvis Presley. Her song “Loneliest Time of the Year” is a Christmas song that alludes to feelings associated with being lonely during Christmas.
This is contrary to the common expectation of having a heart-warming season during Chistmas. While the song might not have excelled in the mainstream, “Loneliest Time of the Year” has proven to be one of the most revered tracks by Mabel. The song is among the top musical gems featured on Mabel’s 2021 extended play Christmas.
#8- Thinking of You
Number eight on our ten best Mabel songs list is the fantastic hit “Thinking of You.” The song was issued in 2016 as a non-album single. “Thinking of You” had its lyrics penned by Mabel in collaboration with Joel Pott, a former vocalist/guitarist of the indie rock outfit Athlete. As a songwriter, Joel Pott has worked with multiple artists including Westlife, George Ezra, London Grammar, Shura, Rhodes, and James Bay among others.
“Thinking of You” has lyrics reminiscent of the singer’s emotions when she had fallen head over heels for some guy. The song delivers some pure nostalgic vibes evocative of R&B songs from the ‘90s. “Thinking of You” is yet another fan-favorite hit by Mabel that barely achieved exposure in the mainstream.
#7- OK (Anxiety Anthem)
“OK (Anxiety Anthem)” is one of the up-close tracks to Mabel’s life struggles. The song has its lyrics centered around accepting that it is fine not to be fine all the time. Mabel draws on her personal experiences with depression and anxiety. While the song is quite personal, the singer revealed that it was among the toughest tracks she has ever penned for her solo musical pursuits.
“OK (Anxiety Anthem)” was penned by Mabel in collaboration with MNEK and Maria Hazell. The song was a mainstream success in New Zealand where it peaked at number twenty-one on the Hot Singles Chart. “OK (Anxiety Anthem)” borrows from the same thematic template of the 2020 hit “Ok Not to Be Ok” by Marshmello and the American pop icon Demi Lovato.
#6- Fine Line ft. Not3s
Number six on our ten best Mabel songs list is the R&B-tinged track “Fine Line.” The song is a collaborative effort between Mabel and British rapper Not3s. “Fine Line” was issued in 2018, and featured on Mabel’s debut mixtape Ivy to Roses. The song has its lyrics allude to the delight of being in a new love commitment.
Mabel revealed that “Fine Line” is a bouncy hit that point towards the fun chapter of being in a just-established relationship. She continued to cite the song to be about getting drunk in love without losing oneself. “Fine Line” was a mainstream success in the UK where it made it to the eleventh spot on the Singles Chart. The song was platinum-certified in the UK proving to have been a commercial success.
#5- Let Them Know
We head back to Mabel’s sophomore studio album, About Last Night… where we find the fifth pick of our ten best Mabel songs “Let Them Know.” The song’s lyrics were a collaborative effort by Mabel, MNEK, Raye, and record producer SG Lewis, who is best known for his audacious work with LANY, JP Cooper, Dua Lipa, and Tove Lo. “Let Them Know” serves as the lead track to the singer’s sophomore LP. This upbeat track finds Mabel exploring an amalgam of dance-pop, synth-pop, and disco sound influences.
“Let Them Know” was inspired by dance music’s philosophy of inclusion, expression, and liberation. The song is an ode to unleashing self-confidence in pursuit of one’s optimal potential. “Let Them Know” rose atop the Dutch Top 40 Tipparade, peaking at number twelve on the UK Singles Chart. The song also proved to be a commercial success, earning silver certification in the UK.
“Boyfriend” is one of the most revered hits by Mabel off her debut studio album High Expectations. The lyrics to this track were a collaborative effort by Mabel, Steve Mac, and Camille Purcell. Camille Purcell is an English singer-songwriter/producer known for his successful works with Jessie J, The Saturdays, Leona Lewis, The Script, Jess Glyne, Cheryl, Olly Murs, and Little Mix.
“Boyfriend” finds the singer crooning about her search for a boyfriend. However, Mabel is a little specific about what type of guy she needs. Her type is a drama-free “bad boy” who can perfectly fit her intimacy desires. The song sampled the live performance of the 1976 hit “Woman of the Ghetto” by Marlena Shaw. “Boyfriend” made it to the tenth spot on the UK Singles Chart, earning platinum certification in the UK.
#3- Finders Keepers ft. Kojo Funds
The third pick on our ten best Mabel songs list is the splendid hit “Finders Keepers.” “Finders Keepers” is a collaborative hit between Mabel and Kojo Funds. Kojo’s brought to this R&B hit some afroswing inflections. The song has its lyrics alluding to hooking up on the dancefloor with no strings attached. Upon its release in 2017, “Finders Keepers” catapulted Mabel to mainstream success.
The song went on to peak at the second spot on the UK R&B Chart, rising to number eight on the UK Singles Chart. “Finders Keepers” was a commercial success earning platinum certification two times in the UK. The song sampled its drum beats from the 2002 hit “Diwali Riddim” by Lenky.
#2- Mad Love
“Mad Love” is so far Mabel’s best shot in the electropop scene. The song was penned by Mabel, Steve Mac, and Camille Purcell, and featured on Mabel’s debut studio album High Expectations. “Mad Love” finds Mabel stating her uncensored desires to a guy she is attracted to intimately. The singer revealed that her intention while penning this track was to capture the lovely moments shared between two souls who like each other.
“Mad Love” managed to rise to the eighth spot on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number four on the UK Hip Hop/R&B Chart. The song also made it to the sixth spot on the Billboard Dance Club Songs Chart. “Mad Love” was platinum-certified in the UK, earning a gold certification in Italy and Poland.
#1- Don’t Call Me Up
Number one on our ten best Mabel songs list is the superb hit “Don’t Call Me Up.” The song is featured on Mabel’s debut studio album, High Expectations. “Don’t Call Me Up” brings together Mabel, Steve Mac, and Camille Purcell once more on the songwriting process. The lyrics to this song allude to an assertive kiss-off following an unrewarding/toxic love relationship.
“Don’t Call Me Up” calls for being strong and refusing to be bugged down by a relationship with a person who barely appreciates you as much as you do. The song was partially inspired by a breakup the singer was undergoing. She cited that penning this record helped her massively in moving on and starting over again.
“Don’t Call Me Up” is the only song by Mabel to have made it to the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number sixty-six. The song also made it to the third spot on the UK Singles Chart. “Don’t Call Me Up” was a commercial success, earning platinum certification in the US. In the UK, the song was platinum-certified thrice and remains the singer’s best-selling track to date.
Top 10 Mabel Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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