Bobby Womack - The Bravest Man In The Universe
Label: XL Recordings - XLLP561
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Includes code for free download of the entire album.
Released: 12 Jun 2012
Genre: Electronic, Funk / Soul
Style: Abstract, Soul
A1 The Bravest Man In The Universe
A2 Please Forgive My Heart
A3 Deep River
A4 Dayglo Reflection
Cello – Izzi Dunn Double Bass – Rory McFarlane Viola – Stella Page Violin – Alice Pratley, Antonia Pagulatos, Nina Foster, Oli Langford* Vocals [Featuring] – Lana Del Rey
A5 Whatever Happened To The Times
B1 Stupid Introlude
Vocals [Featuring] – Gil Scott-Heron
B3 If There Wasn't Something There
Sampler – Alex Reeves, Hal Ritson, Richard Adlam Vocals [Featuring] – Emma Muchando
B4 Love Is Gonna Lift You Up
Backing Vocals – Jessie Ware
B5 Nothin' Can Save Ya
Vocals [Featuring] – Fatoumata Diawara
B6 Jubilee (Don't Let Nobody Turn You Around)
Producer– Damon Albarn, Richard Russell
Producer [Executive]– Ginare Womack
Vocals, Guitar– Bobby Womack
Written-By– Bobby Womack (tracks: A1 to A5, B2 to B6), Damon Albarn (tracks: A1 to A4, B2 to B6), Elizabeth Grant (tracks: A4), Harold Payne (tracks: A1 to A4, B2 to B6), Jim Ford (tracks: A5), Richard Russell (tracks: A1 to A4, B2 to B6), Sam Cooke (tracks: A4)
Every now and then, an album will come out that leaves people scratching their heads wondering how it even got made: Bobby Womack's THE BRAVEST MAN IN THE UNIVERSE is such an album. Produced by Richard Russell and Damon Albarn (of Gorillaz and Blur fame), this release is laden with electronic rhythms, synthesizers, and keyboards. The ingredients should sound strange: a 68-year old 70's R&B legend, creating a new album (his first in over a decade), produced by one of the guys behind Blur's Britpop. The result however, is just as puzzling as its ingredients: it's fantastic.
In the middle of the album, the track "Dayglo Reflection" starts with a quote by Sam Cooke: "as a singer grows older, his conception grows a little deeper, because he lives life and he understands what he is trying to say a little more." This singular sentence sums up everything THE BRAVEST MAN IN THE UNIVERSE represents. Bobby Womack sounds just as comfortable here as he does in any of his previous releases. The juxtaposition of Womack's soulful croon and the album's electronic vibe works well and is rarely distracting. Rather than sounding anachronistic or dated, Womack sounds fresh and comfortable; if Tricky (circa Maxinquaye) grew up listening to gospel records, the results would be this.
The album begins with Womack nearly shouting "The bravest man in the universe is the one who has forgiven first." This introduction quickly slides into pounding, dark electronic synthesizers; it quickly pulls the listener in. This title track is followed by "Please Forgive My Heart," and by this point, it becomes obvious that this album isn't just a gimmick - it's earnest and sincere. "Dayglo Reflection" offers a thoughtful duet between Womack and Lana Del Ray. "Love is Gonna Lift You Up" is an infectious gospel-influenced track that can't help but radiate its optimism. The album ends on the stomping "Jubilee," which is a stark contrast from the mellow and dark opening track. It works well though, and it ends the album on an optimistic view of the future.
Fans of Massive Attack, Marvin Gaye, Portishead, and Gorillaz's THE FALL will find a lot to love here. THE BRAVEST MAN IN THE UNIVERSE is satisfying for longtime fans and for new listeners alike. Standout tracks include: "If There Wasn't Something There," "Bravest Man in the Universe," and "Love is Gonna to Life You Up."
Bobby Womack - The Making Of The Bravest Man In The Universe
HE NEEDS TO WIN A GRAMMY THIS YEAR
Bobby Womack - Whatever Happened To The Times
I've been looking forward to a wonderfully written, melodic and soulful record without pomposity for such a long time and Bobby has made it
Bobby Womack - Bravest Man In The Universe (NYC Rehearsal, First Take)
Bobby Womack - Stupid (Ft. Gil Scott-Heron
Bobby Womack ft. Lana Del Rey - Dayglo Reflection
Bobby Womack ft. Lana Del Rey & Damon Albarn (Gorillaz, Blur) live in 2012