31. Bobby Womack, The Bravest Man In The Universe
Label: XL Recordings
Released: June 12th
Legendary doesn't even begin to describe Bobby Womack's credentials in the worlds of soul, R&B, and rock music. And after overcoming addiction and cancer, why shouldn't he emerge with one of the strongest albums of his distinguished career at age 68? Working with Gorillaz' co-creator Damon Albarn, Womack's electronica-infused soul album for XL Recordings has just the right blend of bare-bones beats and snazzy samples to make it sound modern and forward-looking without distracting from Womack's rich vocals and songwriting. The unexpected highlight here is “Dayglo Reflection,” a duet with Lana Del Ray that seems risky in theory but absolutely gorgeous in execution.