Words: Jozef Kostecki
Full of life as well as lyrics worth listening to, Mae Muller’s debut album ‘Sorry I’m Late’ has been a long time in the making. Now, after years of work, the fifty-minute, 17-song entry balances both an openness on display, as well as an awareness of how she has grown as a person.
An album of two sides, Little Bit Sad, I Wrote A Song and Better Days all help to solidify that this is a pop album first and foremost. Additionally, Nervous strikes similar chords to an Ellie Goulding song from a few years back for better not worse, standing out as one of the best songs on the album despite not being released as a single. The other side to Muller’s debut includes songs; Porn Lied to Us, Miss America and MTJL, that serve as modern ballads. They slow the pace of the album down enough to focus more on a pure display of emotion, whilst also drawing attention to the strong lyrical foundation that makes up the bulk of the release.
There is a case to be made that issues lie with the length of the album. More and more artists have moved towards shorter projects, so for Muller to debut with a 17-song strong release is undeniably a bold choice. At times this choice limits the album, meaning some of the more important lyrics are lost in the thick of it all. The aforementioned Porn Lied to Us in particular finds itself fifteen songs deep into the album, and perhaps would have been better served as an earlier track on either this album, or as a standalone release of its own. Having said that, the truth is that even though the pacing of the album is affected by the extensive tracklist, Muller has always been open about this album being ‘her baby.’ She’s worked on this for the best part of half a decade, her lyrics reference the age she was at the time of writing, as well as who she is now, so perhaps 17-songs to show a period of over five years really isn’t as much as it first seems.
To summarise with broad strokes, from Jessie Ware to Caity Baser, SOFY to Olivia Rodrigo, and now Mae Muller’s ‘Sorry I’m Late,’ 2023 has been one of the strongest years in recent memory for female musicians who just want to make brilliant pop music. Some excellent artists have put out some equally great records this year, and Muller’s debut effort for large parts deserves to be talked about amongst the best of them, regardless of gender or genre. When it’s good it is that good. Having spent all this time on the release, Muller's debut album is finally out for the world to listen to and she deserves to enjoy it.