[XL Recordings; 2012]

It’s been many years since Bobby Womack released a solo album. Mostly, in recent memory, he’s come back into the public consciousness due to guest spots on Gorillaz’s Plastic Beach and The Fall Perhaps this collaboration helped inspire Womack to return to making music of his own, because this year he’s making a comeback with The Bravest Man in the Universe, coming out in June. One of the first announced tracks from the album is the title track, which is a wonderful return to Womack’s signature soul sound.

Things begin suitably sombre, with Womack singing of the titular character of the song, the bravest man in the universe himself. It isn’t long before the slick grooves of subdued bass and percussion enter the mix, however, and while the track remains fairly down-tempo throughout, it sounds like some of Womack’s best with a modern production style befitting 2012. Providing the other tracks on The Bravest Man in the Universe sound similar to this generous offering, the album guarantees to be a compelling listen, especially to hear a great such as Womack making a triumphant return.