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High Expectations is Mabel's debut studio album that was released on August 2, 2019 by Polydor Records internationally and Capitol Records in the United States.

TracklistingEdit

  1. High Expectations (Intro)
  2. Bad Behaviour
  3. Don't Call Me Up
  4. FML
  5. We Don't Say...
  6. Selfish Love (featuring Kamille)
  7. Lucky (Interlude)
  8. Mad Love
  9. Trouble
  10. Put Your Name On It
  11. Stckhlm Syndrome (Interlude)
  12. OK (Anxiety Anthem)
  13. I Belong To Me
  14. High Expectations (Outro)
  15. Finders Keepers (featuring Kojo Funds)
  16. Fine Line (with Not3s)
  17. My Lover (with Not3s)
  18. Ring Ring (with Jax Jones featuring Rich the Kid)
  19. Cigarette (with Raye and Stefflon Don)
  20. Not Sayin'

Chart PerformanceEdit

"High Expectations" debuted at #3 on the UK Albums chart and #198 on the Billboard 200.

Critical ReceptionEdit

"High Expectations" received generally positive reviews from music critics.

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 61, based on 10 reviews.

Reviewing the album for musicOMH, Ben Devlin hailed it as "a convincing display of versatility and quality songwriting that firmly establishes Mabel as a force to be reckoned with in UK pop."

Chris Taylor of DIY regarded it as "effortlessly cool" with "no faux-earnestness".

Q magazine's Laura Barton called the album "highly polished" and said that Mabel "perfected the art of writing songs that even on first listen sound totally ubiquitous".

In NME, Hannah Mylrea wrote that Mabel's "gorgeous silky vocals soar, the glossy production is stellar, but the exuberance and effervescent attitude that make tunes like 'Don't Call Me Up' so brilliant aren't found throughout."

Andrew Wright of The Skinny argued that the singer found her individual identity with High Expectations which he described as well-rounded despite "some over-zealous Top 40 attempts".

Conversely, Joe Hale of Clash found it "almost too airbrushed, with Mabel playing it a little too safe to qualify being described as wholly original or progressive", but concluded that it had "some real highlights" and "moments of talent and flair".

Despite finding the album strong and well-crafted, The Guardian's Alexis Petridis also believed it lacked personality and only "occasionally hints its maker might be more interesting and individual".

Kitty Empire was more critical in The Observer, writing: "High Expectations is just disappointingly all right, lacking any playfulness, or top spin, or a sense of who Mabel is."

Uncut critic Johnny Sharp commented, "Despite some pleasant enough tunes, she lacks the vocal charisma to stand out from other wannabe Rihannas, Mileys and Dua Lipas."

Mick Jacobs of PopMatters concluded, "Though sung in a beautiful, agile voice, the album's contents lack any innovation that truly set them apart, even amongst themselves."

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