Texas rising-star Leon Bridges has just released his debut album Coming Home. This album has put a 21st century styled flare on soul, keeping everything loved about the original sounds and mixed it with what is expected in the modern era. At 25 years of age, Leon has that soulful power that we remember from the sounds of Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye. This album portrays the beauty of soul alongside the original Rhythm & Blues tones that have been missing from today’s music.
Brown Skin Girl is one of the standout songs from this album. The beauty of this song lies within the arrangement and the feeling that this would be perfect on a jukebox or performed live in a pub, something Leon was well renowned for after his many years spent gigging around at open mics. The backing vocals are arranged perfectly with production not being overdone. This song is very relaxing and soulful and Leon’s vocals are alluring and the bands instrumentals portray soul in the way it should be.
In many interviews Leon has spoken about his mother and reflects this in his album, with a song being dedicated to her. That of Lisa Sawyer. The vintage vinyl sounds are reflected and Leon highlights how thankful he is to his mother. The lyrics are told in a story-like manner and poetical within their way. ‘She had the complexion of/The complexion of a sweet praline’.
River ends the debut album and shows how talented Leon is at such a young age. His song writing ability is up there along with some of the greats. His vocals never fail to be pitch perfect. The gospel choir echo the true beauty of soul, giving that nostalgic feeling from old-school soul. The acoustic guitar and drums are juxtaposed alongside Leon’s voice himself, the gospel choir and a females vocals. The power of all vocals drowns out any instruments giving it that exceptional simplistic feel.
The arrangement in this album is never overshadowed by over-production, highlighting how Leon has brought the sounds of 1960 and kept them how they were remembered, but at the same time allowing him to add a 21st century twist on it, creating a new soul style we haven’t seen for a long time. At such a young age, to release something so different and so successful shows that Leon has much more to give to the new genre he has fallen into.