Being a long standing die-hard Womack fan the man seldom does wrong in the vocals department despite some occasional dodgy production work on his previous few releases which where some years back now.I had already enjoyed the Gorillaz before Damon embraced Bobby Womack into the fold and I particularly enjoyed the Plastic Beach album for its sheer originality as well as the inclusion of Mr. Womack amongst other guest acts.
Anyway this album has just dropped on my door step and I am writing this review giving my initial impression of the album. Rest assured that Bobby's vocals, despite his mature status are well on form and I must say I think as good as ever. The first track, The Bravest Man In The Universe confirms this immediately.What Mr. Albarn (and Richard Russel)have cleverly done here is showcase the vocals with some typical Gorillaz style studio wizardry. A modern bass rich, dance beat, electronic platform for a revival of the greatest soul singer ever.It all works very well in my opinion and I am sure all parties are extremely happy with the result of their efforts.Listen to wonderful ballad 'Please Forgive My Heart' (Track 2)and the great vocals/acoustic guitar on track 3 (Deep River) and Lana Del Ray adding a haunting quality to track 4 which of all tracks I think would make an interesting remix project with the beats maybe toned down a bit. I stillfind myself slightly longing for more tracks like Deep River by track 9 but I think that is probably my yearning to hear Bobby and his guitar in a more traditional soul setting which I love. Comparisons with the last Gil-Scott Heron album are obvious and I would also anticipate a re-mix album also being on the table if this album shifts enough volumes. Track 10 is a stunning atmospheric song with guest singer Fatoumata Diawara adding do the dimensions of this simple piano led song.Track 11 has a shade of trance led Country and Western which you can't say isn't original! An old-school soulful closer would have really been the icing on this musical cake but the album certainly leaves one wanting more. I suspect that this album will receive mixed reviews as did the Plastic Beach set.Love it or hate it, for me this album is very welcome in my Womack collection and sits well amongst so many great past albums.It also signifies the return of The Soul Survivor which surely everyone should embrace and celebrate with a purchase. This is my intial review and I feel certain that many of these tracks requires a good few listens to truly appreciate them. Check out [...] for a preview of some of these great tracks.
PS Got my tickets for the cancelled June gig.(Get well soon Mr.Womack I am looking forward to hearing these tunes live!)