Soul-rapper Maverick Sabre has steadily built a devoted following, as witness the Jazz Café 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 Can Never Be".
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