Bobby Womack announces first new album in 13 years

Co-produced by Damon Albarn and Richard Russell, The Bravest Man in the Universe will also feature Lana Del Rey

Bobby Womack has announced his first new album in 13 years, produced by Damon Albarn and XL Recordings' Richard Russell. Due on 11 June, The Bravest Man in the Universe also features Lana Del Rey and Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara.

"It didn't take us long to make, but it felt like all of our lifetimes of musical enthusiasm went into the record," Russell wrote on his blog. This is a long time coming: before Albarn brought Womack back into the spotlight, with Gorillaz, the soul singer's career seemed to be finished. "I'd just come off a heavy drug thing," Womack explained last year. "I stopped wanting to be a part of music when the Monkees retired."

But for Albarn and Russell, the 68-year-old is an icon, and they drew him back into studio late last year. "We recorded 16 songs," Russell said, "10 of which will be on the final album." These include the title track, "about the importance of forgiveness", and a similarly themed Please Forgive My Heart, which is streaming now. Besides cameos by Del Rey and Diawara, the LP samples the voices of Gil Scott-Heron and Womack's former boss, Sam Cooke.

"Bobby seemed to relish the opportunity to make something modern and original, and embraced and encouraged the use of unusual sounds and techniques," Russell said. "It was hard to believe how free of ego he was, and how open to new ideas."

Contributor

Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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