Michael Stafford, better known by his stage name Marverick Sabre, releases his debut album this month Lonely Are the Brave with pressure to live up to the success of his singles ‘Let Me Go’ and ‘I Need’. However, ultimately, the album feels very monotonous. When listened through in its entirety, although it tries to find a new angle in a commercial environment currently dominated by dance and dubstep, it struggles to find its niche.
Lonely Are the Brave is a mixture of Soul, Hip-Hop, R&B, Jazz and Rap which creates an easy listening and chart-friendly record. The aforementioned singles are the catchiest from the album which are supported by a few decent tracks, such as ‘Open My Eyes’ and ‘Memories’, which are more upbeat and fit neatly into his demographic. However, these are let down by some poorer songs which gives the impression that although Sabre does have a lot of soul and an important message in his music, this isn’t easily put across to a listener and often lost.
His influences are easily identifiable (a distinct Amy Winehouse vibe) but to credit him, he does create his own distinct sound and he stands out in the charts from the clutter that often fills the top 40. The commercial sound to his music isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and his soulful voice is a breath of fresh air compared to the likes of David Guetta and Flo Rida that dominate the charts. If the album was tightened up a little, and more work put into the throw away tracks, then Lonely Are the Brave could have been a contender for one of the year’s best albums.