Damon Albarn's reanimation of a soul legend continues here with a solid if unremarkable record.
Bobby Womack knows all about wilderness years, but a late rebirth came in 2010 with scintillating guest spots on Gorillaz' Plastic Beach and The Fall, and Albarn clearly feels the job isn't done. He takes on production here alongside XL Records boss Richard Russell and has a hand in penning the vast majority of the tracks.
In fact, there's a lot of Gorillaz' Stylo – the single Womack lit up so sensationally – in The Bravest Man In The Universe as hip hop beats and electro bass underpin most of the material with Womack's raspy, lived-in yowl bringing the personality. It's an effective method that keeps Womack bang in the moment, but over an album pretty much everything ends up the same.
The first half in particular is a drift, only disturbed by the soulful dub minimalism of Please Forgive My Heart and an unlikely scene-stealing turn from Lana Del Rey on the trip hoppy Dayglo Reflection.
But as the album settles so does Womack – Love Is Gonna Lift You Up is a real revelation in its UK garage propulsion, and Nothin' Can Save Ya echoes the gorgeous psychedelic soul of Minnie Riperton and Rotary Connection. Those tracks – and the album's consistent and impeccably wrought sound – keep the Womack comeback on the rails.