The Bravest Man in the Universe - XL
FILTER Grade: 82%
By Alejandro Rubio on June 11, 2012
There’s been a resurgence of soul music in the last couple of years, but while these young cats sing optimistically about heartbreak and social change, Bobby Womack sings from experience, and there’s very little optimism in that voice. On his new album, Womack’s intensely self-deprecating vocals tap into the marrow of a man who’s trying to reconcile the pieces of his life; however, the production’s click-clack effects and arcade synths often distract and inadvertently undercut the sincerity of Womack’s words. The most intimate track on the record is a stripped-down rendition of an old spiritual, “Deep River,” which features Womack’s fingerpicked guitar and towering voice, and it’s this song that strikes to the root of Womack’s trials—he’s a man singing and searching for peace, not club hits.