Sitting at number 2 in the midweek album charts, Maverick Sabre’s debut album, ‘Lonely Are The Brave’, showcases the pure talents of the Hackney born singer/songwriter. An album mixed with old and new Maverick Sabre tracks, some even written when he was as young as 15.
I’d thought I’d draw off a couple of big name reviews of this album. Firstly, NME. Giving it a 5/10, they mention about how ‘his label’ push the “male Amy Winehouse” tag – at one point saying about ‘No One’ – “you can almost smell the beehive lacquer”, but then how the label ignores the Plan B likeness. To argue against that, I’d say let him be his own artist. He’s unique. End of.
Q Magazine, gave a fairer review, I guess. Despite giving it a 2/5, they did give it a decent write up. And although they thought it was ‘too one-paced’, they also said ‘he sounds like a force to be reckoned with’. They made a point about how ‘Let Me Go’ is the stand out track, and that it puts a downer on the rest of the album. I can actually see where they’re coming from there. I wouldn’t say I fully agree, but ‘Let Me Go’ does differ from the rest of the album. I wouldn’t say it took away from it though.
Right, I’ll get on with it now.
It kicks off with Mav’s second single in the build up to the album release of this album, ‘I Need’. There are very few adjectives that could describe this track other than beautiful, captivating, and just stunning. A track he describes as his ‘simplest tune’, is just the perfect way to start the album. It was written in ‘different stages’, but began when he was just 16, when he was in Ireland. Again, can’t describe how much this song stands out amongst the whole of UK music.
Moving on to a slightly different direction, in the Isaac Hayes sampling track, ‘Let Me Go’ – the track which effectively began the fairly quick rise for Maverick Sabre, gaining much acclaim, particularly from Radio 1 and Chris Moyles’ team. Until watching the track by track interview, I had made the mistake that seemingly a lot of people had. In that ‘Let Me Go’ isn’t about being in an unhealthy relationship. It’s actually about Mav’s addiction to whiskey. (Listen to the lyrics, and it does make sense!)
‘Open My Eyes’ comes up next. Originally titled ‘Follow’, Mav says it’s a portrayal of the fake mentality that exists, and the short term attention it can bring. It’s the first track on ‘Lonely Are The Brave’ that won’t be widely known, so whichever track it was, had to be a stand out track. And ‘Open Your Eyes’ is definitely that.
‘Memories’ was first featured on Maverick Sabre’s, ‘The Travelling Man’ mixtape, and it sounds just as strong on his debut album, as it did back in 2010. Detailing his memories from when he moved over to Ireland, and his growing up over there, and other small things – ‘little bits and bobs’ as Mav calls them.
Our ears are then treated to ‘Cold Game’. Effectively a letter to one of Mav’s ex-girlfriend, after getting into a few fights in just the one night. The first verse is about what his life was like at the time, second verse about surviving all the fights, then the third one looks into the future, and whether he’s taken it too far this one time, and if he’ll survive it. Mav even described it as a slap to the face for him.
Next up, is the most recent single, ‘No One’. Again, another stand out track, that Mav describes as ‘another simple love tune’. Even if it is simple, don’t think anyone cares, because I’d say they’re his best.
‘These Days’ follows. A song based on the ‘loneliness of society’ and the loss of loss of loyalty. It’s a track that Q Magazine pulled out as one of their favourites from the album as well – and for good reasoning.
Then comes ‘Sometimes’. Originally on ‘The Travelling Man’ mixtape featuring Wretch 32, it’s used as a sort of introduction to Maverick Sabre. Written when he was just 15, ‘Sometimes’ has developed from a hip-hop/rap song into it being formed around his guitar. The video for this track (below) shows old of clips of Mav back in his childhood, and recently topped over 1 million views!
Following is ‘I Used To Have It All’, which keeps the standard sky high still. It details how Mav saw the world so differently back when he was a kid. “When you’re a kid, you think you’ve got everything… The more I learnt, the more negative the world would become.” got to say, when watching the interview; you could really see how much this track meant to him, seemed so passionate about it – which will always be a good thing.
Next on the album, is one of my favourites, ‘Shooting The Stars’. It’s when you understand the full ideas and stories behind it, that you realise its brilliance. He watched a few clips on YouTube of excessive force used by the police – the shooting of a guy in America, after he was calmly restrained, and of incidents of protests over here in the UK. Also, it’s based on the way some young people’s lives can be ruined by the simplest of mistakes. ‘Shooting The Stars’ is effectively a message conveying its title – in physical and metaphorical senses.
From one of my favourites, to another. ‘I Can Never Be’, heard on Maverick Sabre’s ‘Lost Words EP’. It sees a return to the ‘basic love tunes’, the first verse was written about an ex-girlfriend of Mav, and he realised that she wanted more than what he could give. Then the second is twisted in its meaning – in that Mav describes it as ‘putting himself down’. It’s another track plenty of people can relate to, and again, contains pure, raw emotion.
Making sure the album doesn’t tail off, is ‘Running Away’. “The purest chorus that I came out with at the time.” Describes it pretty much perfect, doesn’t need much more said about it. It’s just another beautifully raw track.
The penultimate tune, is a cover of Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ – originally used for a live session for Trevor Nelson’s 1xtra show – which was just after the riots. “What’s the point of me, after the London riots… doing a song about nothing.” It again demonstrates the ‘realness’ of Maverick Sabre. True to his roots, and also realises what music should be like, and used for.
Then, finally, comes ‘I Don’t See The Sun’. Mav stated, “If I could’ve called one song on the album ‘Lonely Are The Brave’, it’d be that tune.” I think with an album title like this one, it almost makes it stronger, by not having it fully associated to one certain track. But anyway, it does ‘sum up the album’ according to Maverick Sabre – a song that took one take, and conveys the stunning vocals, lyrics, and music that Mav has delivered on this beautiful debut album.
It’s says so much about the album, that all the songs relate to Maverick Sabre personally, but can still reach out to every single one of us. An album with proper messages, to himself, and the rest of humanity. Stunning.