• Record Label: Capitol
  • Release Date: Aug 2, 2019
Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
Buy On
  1. Aug 5, 2019
    80
    As a debut album it goes over well, with a convincing display of versatility and quality songwriting that firmly establishes Mabel as a force to be reckoned with in UK pop.
  2. Aug 14, 2019
    70
    Sometimes they feel almost too airbrushed, with Mabel playing it a little too safe to qualify being described as wholly original or progressive. There are moments of talent and flair, but it would’ve also been refreshing to hear more personality (and less autotune). Nevertheless, it’s an album that contains some real highlights.
  3. Aug 8, 2019
    60
    There’s no faux-earnestness here. Whether Mabel is singing about messy break ups, mental health or empowering herself to move on, High Expectations is effortlessly cool.
  4. 60
    With the exception of OK (Anxiety Anthem), produced unmemorably by the usually excellent MNEK, these 14 tunes could have been made by anyone with a well-oiled larynx. Even as Mabel’s voice stands proudly without Auto-Tune, High Expectations is just disappointingly all right, lacking any playfulness, or top spin, or a sense of who Mabel is.
  5. Q Magazine
    Aug 2, 2019
    60
    A highly polished R&B-pop collection about every millennial issue from empowerment and self-love to mental health. [Sep 2019, p.112]
  6. Uncut
    Aug 2, 2019
    60
    Despite some pleasant enough tunes, she lacks the vocal charisma to stand out from other wannabe Rihannas, Mileys and Dua Lipas. [Aug 2019, p.29]
  7. 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.
  8. Aug 2, 2019
    60
    As it is, you’re left with a solid, well-made pop album that occasionally hints its maker might be more interesting and individual: time will show if that’s the case, but the immediate future seems secure.
  9. Aug 2, 2019
    60
    Despite some over-zealous Top 40 attempts, High Expectations is a well-rounded pop record.
  10. Aug 14, 2019
    50
    She sounds set in her ways, reluctant to break free of the trends which made her and so many other acts of today famous.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. Oct 9, 2019
    7
    I believe the only mistake is that there are no tracks that better explore Mabel's vocals
      However, as much as it is not a great pop album,
    I believe the only mistake is that there are no tracks that better explore Mabel's vocals
      However, as much as it is not a great pop album, it remains linear from beginning to end.
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 11, 2019
    10
    The album is effortlessly cool and a huge grower, one you definitely won't be bored of after a week on repeat.

    While initially appearing to
    The album is effortlessly cool and a huge grower, one you definitely won't be bored of after a week on repeat.

    While initially appearing to be safe and generic, you discover a lot more to it with every listen. Her voice is very easy to listen to and sounds gorgeous in the intro and outro, We Don't Say and the bridge of Put Your Name On It. Mad Love is catchy as hell as is Trouble - the two highlights for me although everything on here is at least a solid 9.

    Critics have sadly all underrated this with freakishly similar ratings but don't let the metascore fool you.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 7, 2019
    7
    Love the mixture between R&B and Pop Mabel has accomplished with this tremendous Debut. The issue is there are a few skip tracks and you knowLove the mixture between R&B and Pop Mabel has accomplished with this tremendous Debut. The issue is there are a few skip tracks and you know it’s a debut I found better Ivy To Roses singles than High Expectation but Mabel CONGRATS Full Review »