Album: Bobby Womack, The Bravest Man in the Universe (XL Recordings)
Sunday 10 June 2012
From the dark recesses of the cellar ... It's the last great soul man, framed in electronic beats, supported by the voices of Fatoumata Diawara, Gil Scott-Heron and Lana Del Rey, co-produced by Richard Russell and Damon Albarn.
A passionate, heartfelt, serious, dogged effort, pregnant with reflection and as wise as you could hope for. Sententious but not sentimental. Womack is 68 and has been through the addiction mill. And if the nudging, twittering electronica which maps this "secular Gospel" vision is, by its nature, neither mobile nor moving, the record does at least sound like it belongs to our own time – even if Bobby does not.
The voice remains its essential self: a ruined church heard best when he sings "Deep River" with only an acoustic guitar. You can hear him breathe.
'At times I thought he was me'film
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Film More romcom than S&M
Review: The Imitation Gamefilm
Comedy...to show her mastectomy scars
TVNetflix gets cryptic
TV review A moving film showing kids too busy to enjoy their youth
Books Not even a Man Booker prize could save Richard Flanagan from a nomination
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Universities aren't working us hard enough, say undergraduates
- 2 Lego letter from the 1970s still offers a powerful message to parents 40 years later
- 3 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Strictly Come Dancing results: Steve Backshall and Ola Jordan sent home
Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
Beyonce '7/11' music video: Star bounces on bed and films daughter Blue Ivy in lo-fi homage to viral video
Why are the words 'mongol', 'mongoloid' and 'mongy' still bandied about as insults?
Tom DeLonge compares streaming music to killing elephants
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict