Music, more than anything, is a form of creative self-expression. A way to put yourself out into the world, show off what goes on inside your head, and share that piece of your thoughts with everyone else. It’s what makes music such a powerful experience sometimes, it’s a window into someone’s view of the world, and that’s exactly what we’re getting in Elliot Szabo’s latest album, “Brave.”

Elliot Szabo’s latest album, “Brave,” is a collaborative work between a carefully curated team of experts, all coming together to help work on this album. On its own, it’s meant to be a deeper dive into Elliot’s thoughts and ideas, so how does it hold up in those regards?

“Brave” will be a real treat for the ears, combining many of the best aspects of the genre into an enjoyable whole. You get the grounded songwriting, the personal aspect, the simple but melodic and catchy instrumentals, and some excellent emotional impact where it’s needed.

Practically every song on the album is personal, though they aren’t all somber trudges through life. Many are joyful, celebrating Elliot’s good things in his life, for example, the catchy and happy “Holding on to You.” Meanwhile, other songs are more emotionally charged, like the surprising heart-wrenching “The Ubiquitous Road Song.”

We’re also happy to see many different musical genres’ influences in this album. Hints of rock, punk and pop peek throughout the album, keeping things interesting and fun to listen to. “Schizophrenic Jesus,” with a wild title, is also a phenomenal album closer, throwing punk rock influences into the mix. “The Train” is more soulful and melancholy, with an almost arena rock vibe.

The writing on these tracks is also great, as Elliot bares his heart to the world. Returning to “The Ubiquitous Road Song,” you truly get the sense that these are words from someone who’s lived through the things he’s singing about. The production and arrangements complement the writing perfectly, making for a complete package that’s an experience through and through.

Overall, we found a lot to love with “Brave,” and it’s an absolute showcase of an album for Elliot Szabo. Between the fantastic instrumentals, the insightful and often melancholic writing, and the clean, crisp production, it’s just an enjoyable experience. 

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