Looking back in the past for inspiration is not something that’s only happening in music these days, retro style and vintage stuff could be found anywhere. Likewise, it’s not hard to find an artist who pours music from the 60’s like sugar on top of his or her modern cake. It’s hard to find somebody who is solely based on styles with age of more than half a century. That’s exactly what Leon Bridges is doing, following step by step, croon by croon his idol Sam Cooke and presenting a debut with ten beautiful songs that vary from soul to gospel, but always away from the pop style of singers like Sam Smith. He mostly stands out for his voice and singing that cover up for the lack of authenticity in his style.
He grew up in Texas and recorded ‘Coming Home‘ with the help from two members of White Denim (Joshua Block & Austin Jenkins) who also play most of the music here. Occasionally his singing is quite slow, as on ‘Lisa Sawyer‘, a song about his mother, some other times a bit faster (‘Twistin’ & Groovin‘), but always being melodic, colouring his voice beautifully over guitar, piano or saxophone. The title track along with the starter are probably the best here, together with the old fashioned love song ‘Better Man‘. With his first release Leon Bridges is showing that he is perfectly capable of singing themes from the past, but the way he will choose to evolve and use his talent in the future is something that remains to be discovered. It’ll most likely be interesting though.
1. Coming Home 2. Better Man 3. Brown Skin Girl 4. Smooth Sailin' 5. Shine 6. Lisa Sawyer 7. Flowers 8. Pull Away 9. Twistin' & Groovin' 10. River
Release Date: June 2015 Label: Columbia Tracks: Coming Home, Better Man