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on 14 June 2012
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!)
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on 24 June 2012
Bobby Womack will be as surprised as anyone to have out lasted many of his fast living peers. Along the way he has crafted some of the most wonderous, beautifull soul music ever produced. This is the first album since his 1999 gospel effort - Back To My Roots. While he has earnt the right to collaborate with whoever he choses, I was more than disappointed with this Damon Albarn produced effort. The arrangements are often sparse, consisting of piano and acoustic guitar, but elsewhere there is over heavy bass and aggravating electronic percussion and other effects. There is a total absence of Bobby's signature guitar chops. The songs are plodding in tempo and lack melody.

I can only wish him well in his battle against illness and admire him for continuing to tour. For me, I would like to have seen one last soul album from the Last Soul Man, or perhaps we can have Poet 1 & 2 remastered with alternative mixes from the sessions. That is what this soul fan would have preferred.
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on 20 June 2012
My favourite new album of the year so far and the first in my collection by Bobby. Not sure what some folks will make of it as `The Bravest Man In The World' sounds like nothing that he's recorded before solo wise. This is due to the album being co-produced by Damon Albarn of Blur fame who also wrote most of the songs. Bobby's cracked and worn soulful voice sits so well on top of excellent jazzy funk beats heavy with piano & strings. It's getting rave reviews and to my surprise this Sunday it entered the UK Top 100 album chart at #49! It's a short album at just under 38 minutes but then that way there are no spare seconds and left me wanting more. Every track is beautifully arranged so that Bobby's voice fits perfectly. It's impossible for me to pick out the best tracks as I loved all of them. Bobby has worked with Albarn before on his side project Gorillaz in 2010 on their albums `Plastic Beach' and `The Fall'. At 68 years old Bobby is making a new career for himself and gaining lots of new fans including me. Bobby has been seriously ill but is recovering. Hopefully he will be around for many years to come and make more innovative soul albums like this.
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on 7 December 2012
It has been a great period for wonderful albums from old hands. Bob Dylan has done it, so has Leonard Cohen... now comes this wonder from Womack, one of my best purchases this year. Five stars.
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on 23 June 2012
This is by no means a bad record. But nor is it as good as other reviews suggest.
The recording has very high production values which, unfortunately, do not make up for the lack of substance in terms of the content of the tracks themselves. It is no coincidence that the best track here is a re-make of Womack's own "Whatever Happened To The Times". Womack is to be congratulated fot trying to move with the times, however, the lack of 'real' instruments is disappointing and the poor quality of the song writing the biggest disappointment of all.
I enjoyed the first 7 tracks but hated tracks 8-11. It just got boring.
A decent record but not - I'm sorry - of the standard of The Poet, Womagic or So Many Rivers
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on 30 December 2012
It's a very mellow album not what you would expect from Womack but it grows with listening. Worth buying for track 4 alone.
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on 14 May 2013
Well wasn't sure about this at first as there is a slight bit of disco drum machine whoo whoo sounds going on in the back ground..
But Bobby's voice is amazing.. he really hasn't lost it..
and to hear him sing compensates for Albarn's producing.....
have a listen on line before you buy it..
but it is a great CD...
Bobbys done good...
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on 10 July 2012
I have always had a lot of admiration for Bobby Womack and I have a number of his albums. I bought this album for my own listening pleasure and play it a lot when travelling.I love this album it is classic Womack with deep south soul just the way I like it. Love it.
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on 22 October 2013
Very good not quite great return from one of the original and one of the last great soulmen a bit too much Mister Gorilla for me, doesn't reach the heights of the Poet albums but welcome none the less.
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on 30 December 2014
There are moments that happen so rarely in music these days but when they do you have to celebrate the joy of finding a real treasure. This album ranks so highly with me - I recall a year ago I stumbled onto the Bill Fay and was knocked sideways and this Bobby Womack album does the same- Aside from Womack a huge credit must go to Damon and Richard the producers for having the faith and encouragement in getting Bobby to record and make it special. It is breathtakingly good and as i mentioned earlier that doesn't happen so often these days- buy it immediately and enjoy the beats and warmth of a very very special guy- Bobby Womack.
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