Elliot Baker revels in the maturity and industry of Lonely The Brave as they revisit their second LP, Things Will Matter, on its reworked sibling, Redux.

It takes an immense amount of courage to undertake the task that Lonely The Brave have.

In 2016 they released their sophomore LP, Things Will Matter. Now, not even two years later, they have returned to that very same LP and created an alternate version of their own work.

This begs the question: Why?

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And Things Will Matter certainly wasn’t broke. On the contrary, the album was met with critical acclaim upon it’s release, and holds an aggregate score of 81 on Metacritic. For those of you who aren’t aware, this is very, VERY good.

So why bother with Redux?

Perhaps what is so incredibly important about this album isn’t necessarily what’s on it, but what it stands for.

“I liked Coldplay when they were sad.”
“If you think The Weeknd is good now, you should’ve heard House of Ballons.”
“I miss the old Kanye.”

As fans, we can never quite understand why artists’ music changes, especially when we have heaped praise upon the work.

But the music changes because the artist changes. The music is not representative of who the artist has been and always will be, but who the artist is in this moment. I really liked who Coldplay were on A Rush of Blood to the Head. Maroon 5 on Songs About Jane. Two Door Cinema Club on Tourist History.

It’s not that the artist is trying to change. It’s that they have to. There is no conscious choice.

Part of what I love about the albums I’ve listed is their (and I cringe to use the word) honesty. If the Kanye West of 2017 attempted to make The College Dropout now? It would sound forced. Because the problems he’s dealing with on that record don’t reflect the problems he’s dealing with now. And while it may not be as readily apparent for artists who don’t air their dirty laundry as much as Kanye does, we would know. We always do.

So to return.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” doesn’t apply here. Because Redux is not Lonely The Brave trying to “fix” Things Will Matter.

It is instead, a stirring, provocative and poignant analysis of who people are and how quickly they can change.

If Lonely the Brave had taken a year off and instead released Things Will Matter this year, there’s a good chance it would have sounded like Redux does now, and the Redux we’d have gotten next year would be a completely different record based on who Lonely the Brave will be in 2018.

Lonely the Brave will never feel how they felt in 2016 ever again. So thank goodness they released Things Will Matter when they did, or we would never have seen them like that.

The same can be said for Redux. An album that trades the ground-shaking bravado of its predecessor for some understated intimacy, and manages to tell us an entirely different story without changing any of the words.

Lonely The Brave may be changing. But we’re still listening.

★★★★☆

Redux is available from November 10th on Hassle Records.