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Mae Muller ‘Sorry I’m Late’ album review: A dazzling debut from London’s new pop princess 

Muller's infectious personality shines through a beautifully-crafted debut album.

4.0 rating

By Charlotte Manning

Mae Muller's Sorry I'm Late album cover
Mae Muller's personality shines through a beautifully-crafted debut album (Image: Supplied)

Mae Muller’s debut album has been a long time in the making, over five years, in fact. Yet even tracks she first penned half a decade ago still feel as relevant as ever. And we’re spoilt for choice too, with 17 songs to get stuck into.

After being faced with multiple release date delays, Sorry I’m Late feels a hilariously apt title and fits in with her typical self-deprecating style we see run through the record that allows her to truly own her shit.  

Mae doesn’t shy away from her vulnerable side on this record. We hear in raw detail about her heartbreak, frustration with the current dating scene, struggles with anxiety and even honing in on the male gaze with ‘Porn Lied To Us’ and album closer ‘Written By A Woman’. 

‘I Just Came To Dance’ offers up a punchy start with its thumping bass guitar, and immediately sucks you in to the part. Mae recalls flirtation blossoming on a night out where she hasn’t left room for it. “I just came to dance… you messed up all my plans,” she swirls out.

We get the first tease of a speaking segment, a motif which pops up on several tracks. This is in part inspired by fellow north London girl Lily Allen as well keeping in with her desire to keep a conversation going with fans, telling Attitude: “I want people to feel like it’s just them chatting to their friends, and chatting to their girls.”

“I sort of put pressure on myself” – Mae Muller

In ‘Sorry Daniel’, she explores the difficulty of smoothing things over after ending a relationship (we’ve all been there), ending with a giggle and cheeky spoken word sign off, “soz babe”. ‘Bitch With A Broken Heart’ explores the other side of heartbreak. Mae demonstrates her strength coming out the other side of horrible messiness, telling her ex lover “you keep your apology, you messed with the wrong one” and warns him “there’s nothing more dangerous than a bitch with a broken heart” – an instant heartbreak anthem for Gen Z girlies. 

Mae has been one of the UK’s biggest rising stars of 2023 (Image: Harry Carr/Capitol/EMI,Harry Carr)

We move onto the track that made her a household name at Eurovision earlier this year ‘I Wrote A Song’, which she previously told fans is about “boys being annoying and annoying me.” It’s really fun to revisit this in the context of her sassy full catalogue. ‘Me Myself & I’ is a gorgeous reclamation of self-love amid the frustration of not being able to find someone. “I don’t need to try, think I’ve finally realised, I don’t need a guy,” she declares in a determined chorus, coupled with dreamy vocals. This theme continues in ‘Something Real’, where she hones in on the futility of trying to finding love on apps, telling us “I’m not spending my life swiping right just to feel something real.”

‘Tatiana’ is quickly marked as one of the standouts from the record, featuring a collab from American star DYLAN. “I’m in a state while you look great makes this harder,” she sings to a love rival who she’s keen to keep on side. “I think we know it’s all his fault” she adds in a track, which with its sparkly melody, gives hints of inspiration from other UK pop princesses of the moment, like Mimi Webb and Rina Sawayama. 

“I wish I wasn’t an over thinker, but I am”

Meanwhile, she allows us to feel even more of her raw emotion in stripped back track ‘MLJT’. Mae reflects on the day-to-day insecurities felt in the life of a twenty-something. “I wish I wasn’t an over thinker but I am… I wish a was a better singer, better than I am,” and even hilariously probes “I don’t know why my back is hurting” (what a mood). ‘Nervous (In A Good Way)’ picks up the pace as she outlines the euphoria of a budding romance, “when you touch me, I feel alive, my cheeks turn red, because I get shy.”

As we move to the close, we get into the personal ballads. She delivers a vital message through ‘Porn Lied To Us’, exploring the complexity that comes with the intimacy during sex. “From personal experience, I’ve never been able to fully relax,” she told us of the song. “Even when it’s not the other person’s fault, even if it’s the most like loving, like caring, person in the world, because of pressures and outside like standards, I sort of put pressure on myself,” before ending with ‘Miss America’ and newest single ‘Written By A Woman’ where she details exactly what she wants in a man. 

Yes, this album may have been a long time coming, but it’s absolutely been to Mae’s advantage. This rising star isn’t afraid to stick her neck out on the line to stay authentic, and has produced a set of tracks just sickeningly relatable to girls trying to find their way through their 20s. This is a beautifully put together pop album which allows her infectious personality to shine through.

Sorry I’m Late is released on Friday, 29 September.