10 years after the release of her debut album and just weeks before her new album Hilda drops, it’s time to take a trip through the discography of one of Australia’s most enduring popstars Jessica Mauboy.
15. Let Me Be Me
Mauboy’s debut album Been Waiting had a mighty string of singles and Let Me Be Me was the final one. It’s a thundering ballad with a healthy touch of guitars.
14. Can I Get A Moment?
Can I Get A Moment? was popped out at the tail-end of the Beautiful campaign and appeared like an improved Get Em Girls. Mauboy’s vocals are on fire in this. “It’s hard for me to breath,” Mauboy sings, tapping into the raspiest pockets of her voice.
13. This Ain’t Love
While Rudimental were riding high on the charts, Mauboy tried her hand at a little drum ‘n’ bass and it worked. This would bury less powerful singers in the rubble but she rises above, singing fist-clenched, “I made it through the night.”
12. Never Be The Same
Beautiful‘s necessary ballad went bigger than she’d ever gone before. Never Be The Same was born to be synched to the finale of every Australian tele-drama until the end of time.
While the world was watching Lady Gaga transforming pop music, J.Mally had an absolute electro-banger on her hands. Up/Down never reached the Top 10 in Australia and that will forever be a shameful part of this country’s history.
10. Been Waiting
To be completely honest, most Australian Idol graduates released shit debut albums but by the title track of Mauboy’s debut it was pretty clear she was different. Somehow Israel Cruz, the man responsible for this, produced this bonafide bop that even translated well on the Rove Live stage.
Mauboy is stepping into a new world with her forthcoming record Hilda. She’s embracing soul and throwback R&B, tapping into the sweetest spots of her voice. Sunday is an absolute serve, showcasing her voice in one of the most organic environments yet. It’s one of her ‘coolest’ singles to date.
While Mauboy was starring in The Secret Daughter dropping covers faster than Michael Buble, she also crafted one of her best originals. Fallin is a minimal, doo-wop song that’s lifted by Mauboy’s finessed, technical delivery.
7. Little Things
Little Things is the rawest thing that Mauboy has ever given us. She’s co-writing every song on Hilda and the honesty is shining through on moments like this. Little Things is so expertly written that it needs no surrounding production fodder. Whether you’re a ballad fan or not, it’s difficult to deny those vocals in the final moments of this. No other Australian singer could pull that off right now.
6. We Got Love
Mauboy was always going to be our greatest Eurovision hope and while Europe slept on her, we got this song and for that we will be forever grateful. We Got Love is a pulsating, rousing piece of camp brilliance that won’t leave the dancefloor of Stonewall for decades.
5. Running Back
Mauboy got a Flo Rida feature on her debut single. Yep, that may not seem like much right now but this was 2008. A year after Low and the year before Right Round. While those songs were a little on the nose, Running Back was a slick, mid-tempo jam. It wasn’t your typical debut splash but Mauboy’s charismatic voice carried it to number 3 in Australia.
Let’s be honest – Get Em Girls was a wild left turn for Mauboy. It aimed for the US urban market but confused plenty of Aussie fans in the meantime, particularly when Snoop Dogg oddly fit a shoe on Mauboy’s foot in the video for the title track. All was saved when she added Inescapable to the tracklist. It’s a stomping, electro-pop moment penned by the legendary Diane Warren.
3. Pop A Bottle (Fill Me Up)
With Get Em Girls behind her and a critically acclaimed movie (The Sapphires) in her credits, Mauboy was back on a roll. Pop A Bottle (Fill Me Up) is a pop song in the purest form. It’s escapist party music that serves a near-perfect chorus with beautiful imagery of champagne popping. I don’t know a better turn-up song, TBQH.
If the people don’t do Burn dirty, it will go down as one of the best pop songs in Australian history. To be fair, our history with pop outside of Kylie isn’t great but Mauboy set a new standard with Burn. It’s powerful, stomping cut that puts Mauboy in complete control. While most Australian Idol contestants were singing covers from the Great Australian Songbook by their second release, Mauboy was nabbing a number one single with a chorus that potentially uses an STI metaphor. We have no choice but to stan.
1. Saturday Night (Feat. Ludacris)
The brilliance of Saturday Night may have been slightly dimmed by its predecessor Get Em Girls at the time but it still shines in 2019. While Ludacris has stopped producing hits, Mauboy is still blazing ahead and this track proved that she doesn’t really need features to flex. With verses tough enough to cut through refrigerated butter and a chorus hot enough to melt said butter, this is one of the most effortless pop songs this country has produced. You can prove that the melody of this song because it goes just as hard in Simlish as it does on the original.