There have been a lot of acts lately with a throwback and retro sound. Some of those artists put their own spin on that influence. Leon Bridges, however channels the legendary spirits of Otis Redding, Curtis Mayfield, Sam Cooke, and Marvin Gaye to create music that is incredibly faithful to that era. We’ve covered Bridges in the past and have been quite excited for his record, Coming Home since we first heard “Better Man” last year. The day is finally upon us, Coming Home releases in the US today on Columbia Records.
The first two tracks on this record are the soulful “Coming Home” and “Better Man”, the two early singles and our first taste of Leon Bridges for many music fans. These are a perfect way to introduce a listener to Bridges’ music. It’s incredible that Bridges really caught fire and tons of attention from music fans based on these two songs alone. When we get to the new track “Brown Skin Girl”, we’re treated with a laid back love letter with a soul groove. Speaking of grooves, “Smooth Sailing” is a track with an amazing groove and tons of energy to it and even a little guitar solo.
The next track is the beautiful ode to Leon Bridges’ mother, “Lisa Sawyer”. It’s a sweet track, recounting the life of his mother and what she did for Leon. It’s one of the finest tracks of the year. Bridges isn’t all about love letters and laid back soul, on “Flowers”, Bridges rocks quite a bit, an energetic track with some really awesome backup singing and great guitar work. “Twistin and Groovin” also rocks, but with a bit of a southern stomp to it, and a real kickass sax solo. The record comes to a close with the gorgeous “River” which is mostly just Bridges singing over acoustic guitar, being joined in here and there with some stunning harmonies.
We’ve been touting the arrival of Leon Bridges for months now, and Coming Home is a record worthy of that hype. It may be a big claim putting his name with Cooke, Gaye, Mayfield, and Redding, but his authenticity, talent and style recall a time when we had some of the greatest soul singers on this planet. It’s great to hear a throwback that doesn’t sound cheesy or like an inauthentic cash-in, Bridges is a true throwback. Bridge’s popularity has skyrocketed over the last few months, and perhaps it should be no surprise that Leon Bridges will play a sold out headline show at New York’s legendary Apollo Theater later this year. Check out Coming Home, out today on Columbia records.
Take a listen to some of the tracks from Coming Home by Leon Bridges below:
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