Bobby Womack: The Bravest Man in the Universe
Gospel-tinged hypnotic electro soul has dripped life-sustaining liquid from the fingertips of legendary singer/songwriter Bobby Womack into heart and minds once again. Dubbed as one of the greatest soul singers ever, and with the help of the Gorillaz’ Damon Albarn as co-producer, this soul-piercing release is what Womack describes as his first full album in 18 years. Titled The Bravest Man in the Universe, it is equally foreboding, eminent, resuscitative and spiritual. Warning against self-importance on the title track, he sings, “The bravest man in the universe, is the one who has forgiven first.” Accented with sparse trinkets of fiery electric guitar riffs, a hide and seek acoustic six-string wonderment, futuristic drum minimalism and slow molten keys, it becomes obvious that these avenues are glorious ones. Small ranges of slightly moving instrumentalism and oftentimes drums glide by, yielding a few boastful runs here and there but all built around the regal vocal brawn of Bobby Womack and for certain that is indeed all that is needed. After all, this is a man who has played with James Brown, toured with Jimi Hendrix, wrote the song that would become a breakout hit for The Rolling Stones (“It’s All Over Now”), and played with Sly and the Family Stone, Wilson Pickett and Marvin Gaye, to name a very few. His own body of work is massive and at 68 years of age is only yet still new.