Her first single Don’t Wait left us all blown away and awaiting for her debut album to come out. Like many others said, it is a pop perfection, it is a nostalgic and catchy indie hip hop anthem, with strong beat lines mixed with finger snapping, sitar-like and calypso-like folk instruments and pitched-down vocals in the verses. It sounds fresh and eclectic, it is a song for almost every occasion, it simply works in every scenario. What makes it fresh are the simple and laid bare lyrics, and that amazing video, directed by the amazing Dori Oskowitz, we all fell in love with at first sight.
In all that anticipation, the final result isn't what we exactly could expect, it’s even more eclectic in a degree it becomes unrecognizable. Yes it is innovative and different and funky like Things You Know Nothing About, but it would be a damn good move if there were more songs on the album, like Don’t Wait or Blame It On Me. Instead, Hey Hey is filled with more indie than hip hop or folk tunes. And for a debut album, it is a very dangerous move that can finally result in forgetting her name soon after the first single drops from the charts.
The second single from the album, Change, is an adrenalin filled tune with strong beats like a song with this title should be. The third single, Believe is a sleepy anthem of empowerment. It sounds much like a mix of Radiohead and Macy Gray. Step Up, like many others on the album, is an adrenalin mix of rock and hip hop with Mapei’s tired voice, tired and weary, reminding me in a strange way of Noel Gallagher's. As 1, a neo soul love ballad, makes a really nice moment for the album, and once more her voice reminded of some contemporary soul singer.
All in all it makes an interesting debut album that may not conquer the charts but is an eclectic and innovative vision of pop. This Swedish-American (who even was Lykke Li's roommate while she was living in New York) definitely deserved some success after many years of fighting for her place on the scene. Sure, Mapei needs to strengthen her music identity, but her artistic identity is indisputable.