Wow! I went into this album with no expectations and after listening to it for the fifth time in a row I can say I’m genuinely surprised. Leon Bridges is an american gospel/soul singer from Texas. This album ‘Coming Home’ came out last year and honestly I don’t know how this flew under my radar.
Right off the bat Leon Brdiges takes us at least 30 years back in time. Where Soul,R&B,Gospel, and blues blend together smoothly. Where back up singers chime in some “doo wop’s” for the listener. Several of these tracks are very reminiscent to Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye with a modern flair to it, sort of like Amy Winehouse or Cee-Lo Green. In other words this album is catchy as hell with smooth guitar licks and wonderful back up singers to boot. Another quality Coming Home shares with earlier rock albums from back in the good ole days is that It’s short.The majority of the 10 songs are in the three minute range and the album only lasts about half an hour. Its more of a benefit then a flaw.
Of course there are flaws though.Bridges unhurried approach to the music can be a crutch. The best example would be, “Lisa Sawyer”. It tells the story of his mother’s life, including finding Christ at age 16. He can sing the story real well but the song offers no hidden meanings to his mother’s ability to survive hard times and thrive with the little she had. The narrative felt a bit linear. His songwriting isn’t awful it’s just that,there were times in the song where my mind would drift and I was losing attention to the story. I think its more of the fact that this is Leon’s first album so there is definite room of improving. But like I said before Bridges has a hell of a voice and his music would quickly pull me back in.
Despite some songwriting, Leon Bridges delivered an incredible, catchy album. That’s really impressive for someone’s first album. His relaxed flow along with the old school style of playing music makes this album more fresh then stale. Bridges finds comfort in the music from back then, when the music’s profound revolutionary nature was found in its serene manner. It’s an album for the youth with a more mature taste.