Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man In The Universe

He was coaxed out of retirement by Damon Albarn for his Gorillaz project now Bobby Womack releases ‘The Bravest Man in the Universe’ his first album of original material for eighteen years. So the soul legend is back or is he? On first listen I actually found the album quite the opposite, very soulless, sparse, clinical and strange almost like he had recorded an albums worth of tracks for the Gorillaz and this collection was the rejects. But the more I listened to it the more it opened up, it suddenly started to remind me of The XX, the beauty was in the juxtaposition between the drum machines, lost pianos and Bobby’s voice, unchanged and steadfast. No amount of strings and layering was going to make this ‘Across 110st’ but samples and beats make this refreshingly different. Co-produced by Alban and Richard Russell and with guest vocals from Lana Del Rey and Fatoumata Diawara subsequent plays reveal Bobby has, without dwelling on former glories or his previous work, developed an intriguing new direction and for that he may just be the bravest man on earth.

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