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."


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Best albums of 2012, No 10: Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man in the Universe

Caspar Llewellyn Smith: For his first record in more than a decade, Bobby Womack teamed up with Damon Albarn and producer Richard Russell to make an album that amounted to a career resurrection

Caspar Llewellyn Smith

03, Dec, 2012 @2:02 PM

Article image
Bobby Womack returns to the studio to record new album

Soul veteran prepares follow-up to The Bravest Man in the Universe with guests including Rod Stewart and Stevie Wonder

Sean Michaels

24, Dec, 2013 @8:18 AM

Bobby Womack and Jonathan Ross on 10 years of Gorillaz

Soul singer Bobby Womack reveals how a phone call from Gorillaz helped rekindle his career, and TV presenter Jonathan Ross hails the unlikely cartoon group

Caspar Llewellyn Smith

22, Nov, 2011 @4:14 PM

Article image
Bobby Womack reveals he has Alzheimer's disease

Soul singer says he has trouble remembering names of other artists, including Damon Albarn

Sean Michaels

02, Jan, 2013 @11:22 AM

Article image
Stars pay tribute to the great Bobby Womack
Damon Albarn and Ronnie Wood are among scores of musicians offering respects to the great soul singer, who has died at the age of 70

Guardian music

28, Jun, 2014 @10:45 AM

Article image
Bobby Womack - The Bravest Man in the Universe: exclusive album stream

Caspar Llewellyn Smith: Be among the first to hear the brand new album from Bobby Womack, The Bravest Man in the Universe

Caspar Llewellyn Smith

04, Jun, 2012 @8:00 AM

Article image
Bobby Womack: The Bravest Man in the Universe – review

Vintage soul and dubstep combine beautifully on Bobby Womack's guest-heavy new album, writes Kitty Empire

Kitty Empire

09, Jun, 2012 @11:05 PM

Article image
Bobby Womack – review

It was a set of two in incompatible halves in which electronica and hip-hop gave way to Sam Cooke and Womack's own eloquent classics, writes Dorian Lynskey

Dorian Lynskey

26, Nov, 2012 @1:10 PM

Article image
Bobby Womack at Glastonbury 2013 – review

The leather-clad legend's reappearance transformed the entire West Holts field into a soul party

Chris Michael

30, Jun, 2013 @10:54 PM

Article image
Bobby Womack: six great performances
Our resident Womack obsessive shares his favourite moments from the late soul legend's incredible career

Paul Simon

28, Jun, 2014 @11:21 AM