Wednesday, June 6, 2012

nifty snippet from the new issue of  The Wire, #1

"Unlike the faux soul of Adele, Amy Winehouse, Duffy, Joss Stone et al, a green eyed soul consumed with envy for another time, there’s nothing stylistically retro about this project...  What it sounds like is right now, not Miami or Memphis in 1965

David Toop on Bobby Womack's comeback album as produced by Damon Albarn and XL's Richard Russell

well I'm feeling a little green eyed vis-a-vis "green eyed soul consumed with envy for another time" !

Toop concludes however that the contemporarisation of Womack doesn't quite come off right:
a reckless compulsion to be du jour also combines with an equally modish and somewhat  sentimental dedication to history” that strands Bobby W in some kind of atemporal limbo -- a real Nowhen Man

I saw Womack perform at the Oxford Apollo in... must have been 83, or 84? It was a nostalgia revue already, pretty much, even though half the songs came from the recent Poet albums. The framing by the music papers was "The Last Soul Man". (Title of a great Barney Hoskyns piece in NME if memory serves). The impossible gravitas of a figure from another age. He would only have been 39 or 40 then (a lot younger than me now) but seemed like a venerable elder, craggy with dignity and experience.  That raspy, weathered voice. Being a BH disciple, and something of a (whisper it) soul boy for a moment there, I went along with it wholesale: tracked down many of the 1971-75 albums Toop reveres, bought Poet II...  Then, some years later parted with the lot, without too much pain. 

I think the rep is a bit overblown, to be honest. Still, there's no doubt the man has Presence and Authority and he memorably blew away Albarn's bandmate, spotty Coxon, on  Later With Jools a few years back.

this is a good old one, as first heard by me on the Lost Soul compilations

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