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Album: Maverick Sabre, Lonely Are the Brave (Mercury)


Soul-rapper Maverick Sabre has steadily built a devoted following, as witness the Jazz Cafe audience enthusiastically singing along with "They Found Him a Gun", the bonus track concluding Lonely Are the Brave.

And certainly, at his best on the crisp retro-soul arrangement of "No One", he comes across like a male Amy Winehouse, engagingly feisty and vulnerable. Too often here, however, he opts for undistinguished breakbeat grooves to carry his reflections; and he seems almost solipsistically obsessed with his own past, in track after track reminiscing about his hard childhood. But he's developed a pleasing balance between catchier cuts like "Let Me Go" and "Running Away" and a slower, more thoughtful vein of soul-blues rumination, such as "I Could Never Be" and "Don't Ever Feel Too Much".

DOWNLOAD THIS: No One; Running Away; Let Me Go