Single Review: Maverick Sabre – ‘Let Me Go’

“His naturally very soulful twang is diminished by the over-production – both vocal and instrumental”

3 STARS

Digital Release: July 24, 2011

Physical Release: July 24, 2011

Very few will have heard much from London-Irish urbanite Maverick Sabre – better known amongst his friends as Michael Stafford – other than his grime collaboration with Professor Green, a man with an equally distinctive voice. And to some, Maverick is a pure talent and, having already won over scores of contemporary critics, is more than ready to take the public and the media by storm. However, many others claim to be taking a loyal perspective in receipt of the knowledge of Maverick’s turn to mainstream music and clinging to ‘The Travelling Man’, Maverick’s first mixtape.

To some extent, it’s always sad to see an artist of particular interest neglect their underground roots in favour of a music career amid media coverage, chart positions and TV promotional slots, and even though Maverick has channelled many of his folk/blues/jazz crossover appeal into his newer, more commercial material, something about ‘Let Me Go’ sounds disparagingly unnecessary.

With a voice that can split opinion – reaping lavish descriptions of it’s rich, soulful beauty and sincerity from one listener and comparisons to a goat with a bad case of tonsillitis and a blocked nose from another – Maverick can be commended for being quite savvy with his choice of sound. Without neglecting his roots too much, ‘Let Me Go’ sounds like something Finely Quaye and most definitely Cee-Lo Green wouldn’t be to ashamed to put their names to, echoing the sparkling lyricism and effervescent synth stabs of songs like ‘Bright Lights, Bigger City’ quite possibly a little too closely, and whilst Maverick’s aspirations and influences are heard loud and clear on ‘Let Me Go’, so can the journey he must make before he can class himself as that which he aims for. His naturally very soulful twang is diminished by the over-production – both vocal and instrumental – and during the verses his lyrics are nothing more than inaudible bleating. Because of this, it’s not hard to see why so many of his underground fans are more than just disgruntled about his departure for the mainstream, especially with a song that hides his greater talents; he’s a long way to go before he can scale the heights of fame that acts like Cee-Lo Green and Plan B have come to enjoy.

 

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