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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.Read more ›
Largely eschewing seventies-style strings, horns and Womack's guitar work for synths and electro beats, the results are never less than spectacular, from the spare booming title track ("The bravest man in the universe, is the one who has forgiven first"), to the piano-driven "Please Forgive My Heart" set to twitchy Timbaland-style beats and with a lovely Acoustic coda.
"Deep River" is acoustic Blues/Folk/Soul, "Dayglo Reflection" features a deadpan Lana Del Ray perfectly contrasting a raspy Womack and is a dreamy song with skittery/cluttery beats, hypnotic strings, and stabs of bass.
Every song stands out; the spare harrowing Trip Hop-ish "Whatever Happened To The Times", a spoken sample of Gil Scott-Heron appears on the interlude "Stupid Introlude" which segues into the catchy "Stupid" with twinkly piano, sketchy bass, and lyrics about false preachers.
Womack is on stellar form vocally throughout, soulful and authoritative. "If There Wasn't Something There" is Hip Hop/Soul, the euphoric "Love Is Gonna Lift You Up" takes you to Church, the lush quivery Jazzy "Nothin' Can Save Ya" features African songstress Fatoumata Diawara" (she appeared on Albarn's "Rocket Juice & Moon" project), while closing is "Jubilee", a Gospel style spoken/sung/chant with electro martial beats.
Womack sounds perfectly at home sitting atop these 21st Century grooves. Marvelous!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very nice album, pretty mellow, great production. Grows on me daily.Published 23 days ago by Upson Pratt
This is a good album. Will you like every song, you probably won't. I enjoyed it and as one of my favorite artist, I was sad. RIP Mr. Guitar Man.Published 21 months ago by Crazyanimegyrl
Disclaimer: I am old enough to be your grandmother (!) and I don't like music made by plugging in a Dr. Dre drum machine. That being said, this album is astounding to me. Read morePublished on August 21, 2014 by Max