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The Bravest Man in the Universe

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iTunes Review

XL Recordings' Richard Russell worked up one final album for Gil Scott-Heron, and now with Damon Albarn he's helping 68-year-old soul survivor Bobby Womack revitalize his voice for the 2012 crowd. Scott-Heron's voice can be heard for the "Stupid Introlude" that, as its title suggest, leads into "Stupid," a beat-enhanced piano ballad. Russell and Albarn keep their involvement in perspective, providing a safe haven for Womack to do what he does best and updating his sound to meet the expectations of modern ears. They may be plenty busy behind the scenes, but you never lose Womack in the crowd. The modest post-dubstep cabaret of "Dayglo Reflection" throws in Lana Del Rey for ambience and Womack's friend and inspiration, Sam Cooke, for a sense of history. Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara heats up "Nothin' Can Save Ya." The electro beats and backup vocals provide a springboard for Womack's lead vocals, which age has tempered but not ravaged, despite Womack's walks, jogs, and sprints on the wild side. 

Customer Reviews

Electric Soul

The same label that brings us Adele and made her sound retro. Is the same one that makes Bobby sound up to date. I've been recommending this album left and right. To old and young alike.

Welcome to Womack 2.0

The cover serves as a warning...
This album WILL freak you out!
Bobby's voice sounds just as AMAZING as it did when he first pull at our heart strings and the Gorilla's beat makers create a new heart thumping feeling in my soul that I can't describe. -Dayglo Reflection Feat. Lana del ray sexy sexy!
I hope everyone enjoys this album as much as I do.

A Very Good and Welcome Return (4.5 stars)

Sixty-eight year old R&B singer Bobby Womack has achieved some commercial success as an artist but certainly not to the extent that someone of his tremendous talent desrves. His unmistakable growl and impassioned vocals give all of his songs, even lesser material, a sense of urgency and earned him the nickname "The Last Soul Man". "The Bravest Man in the Universe", Womack's latest album (his first as a solo artist in several years), is quite good and at times even stunningly powerful. The voice is just as passionate as ever, even if it has weathered some, but what makes this record very different from his previous albums is that he sings over electronic beats rather than a studio band. It is a bit jarring at first and I did not particularly like it on first listen. However, after further plays, I think this album "works" because the beats are subtle on most of the songs allowing Womack's booming and soulful voice to stay in the forefront. The amazing title cut, "Please Forgive My Heart', and "Dayglo Reflection" (compare Womack's delivery to the dispassionate vocals by co-vocalist Lana Del Ray) are excellent. "Stupid" and "If There Wasn't Something There" are also very good. However, not all of the songs are winners. I did not care for "Love Is Gonna Lift You Up", "Jubilee" and "Please Forgive My Heart (Funk Version)" because the beats just did not mesh well with Womack's vocals. Nevertheless, "The Bravest Man in the Universe" is a welcome return by an artist who is often underappreciated and I hope that it will be recognized on lists of the best recordings of 2012. 4.5 stars out of 5 (I-Tunes won't allow half stars)..


Born: March 4, 1944 in Cleveland, OH

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A veteran who paid his dues for over a decade before getting his shot at solo stardom, Bobby Womack persevered through tragedy and addiction to emerge as one of soul music's great survivors. Able to shine in the spotlight as a singer or behind the scenes as an instrumentalist and songwriter, Womack never got his due from pop audiences, but during the late '60s and much of the '70s, he was a consistent hitmaker on the R&B charts, with a high standard of quality control. His records were quintessential...
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