Photo Credit: Hayley Louisa Brown
London, England singer Mabel McVey is United Kingdom’s sweetheart! Giving off the ultimate femme-fatale vibe, her pouty gloss lips and bad girl attitude has landed the Swedish born beauty right on top of the European charts. Consistently. Still coasting off of the success of her breakout 2017 debut mixtape Ivy To Roses, she sashayed right into 2019 with a new extended version of the LP, new cover art, as well as additional unreleased songs.
“Last year, I spent a lot of time just internally figuring out what it was I wanted to say, and what I want my sound to be like. That’s what this mixtape is to me — the old Mabel meets the new. The mixtape is about me growing as a person. You need to go through those scary situations to grow.” She told Fader Magazine on the idea of revamping the mega successful project. Included on the 15-track mixtape is a combination of chart topping bangers like the platinum bound lead single “Finders Keepers”, with the new remix featuring Brit rapper Kojo Funds. The jazzy “Don’t Call Me Up” reminiscent of Dua Lipa’s “New Rules” is also already a fan favorite.
The popular single also recently landed on the top 10 U.K. singles chart and has really made the young songstress begin to rule radio airplay. Elsewhere, other new material on the album includes the easily forgettable “Fine Line”, and “Cigarette” alongside fellow U.K. artists Raye and upcoming rapstress Steflon Don, whose razor sharp rapped verse basically saves the song. “Ring Ring” has a cute energy to it, but again becomes monotonous until Rich the Kid’s perfectly timed 16-bars of rescuing rhymes chime in.
“One Shot” is another addition that fairs decent, but is nowhere near her best as she gives a stern warning to a jolted lover. The problem is that this and many other songs on Ivy To Roses follow the same tireless idea and blueprint throughout the mixtape. “Don’t attempt to play me or I’ll f*ck you up.” The same can be said for songs like “Roses”, “Ivy” and “Weapon”, all which seem to unfortunately go in one ear and out the other. To be fair, Mabel has one of the purest voices out right now. Her vocal ability is outstanding. The girl can actually sing!
However, with the exception of her stellar cover version of Toronto rapper Drake’s original track “Passion Fruit” and the singles “Finders Keepers” and “ Don’t Call Me Up” respectively, on the majority of Ivy To Roses Mabel doesn’t show a lot of individual artistic direction with her music. Many of her songs become one dimensional and uninteresting at times.
All in all, Ivy To Roses is over saturated and mediocre at best musically. Although the good news is that Mabel has a lot in her favor. She is as stunning as they come (think of a younger version of former singer/model Cassie), and she is strong willed and talented enough to eventually find her way artistically. Frankly speaking, it is evident that when she steps outside the box, she absolutely thrives! This is the very reason why her success has come about so sporadically. She needs to set her own speed, then pedal at her own pace. This profession is a game of chess not checkers. It is not a sprint, more like a marathon. Once she realizes that, she will be flying with the eagles instead of chirping with the bluebirds. Bet on that!