Leon Bridges debut in 2015 was like a nostalgic breath of fresh air, strongly reminiscent of 60s soul men like Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke, a man who Bridges clearly resembles. The vocals were a melodic triumph on songs such as title track “Coming Home” as well a “Smooth Sailin'” and “River”. Bridges can currently be found supporting Harry Styles on the South American leg of his tour, which will undoubtedly expand his fanbase.
With his follow-up album, Bridges has kept the soul-tinged tone of his music and added an increasing dose of pop, culminating in a joyous second record. Opening track “Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand”, takes full advantage of Bridges’ piercing vocals and is a striking track to start, although at first listen it can be a tad too schmaltzy. “Bad Bad News” is perhaps one of the album’s highlights with an infectious beat and a strong funk vibe present which draws comparisons to Stevie Wonder and James Brown.
reminiscent of 60s soul men like Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke
“Shy” has a more R&B vibe to it, which for me is akin to John Legend; and the contrast between the beats and Bridges vocals is an odd marriage yet seems to work for the most part. “Beyond” is another strong track which is a perfect mixture of the strengths from both albums, his soul prowess and newfound poppier sound both on display, and it is sure to be a fan favourite.
“If It Feels Good (Then It Must Be)”, is pure funk, with strong Jamiroquai vibes as well as artists such as Funkadelic, make me feel this an avenue Bridges should approach more in future as it clearly suits his vocal style.
he has the potential to be one of the voices of his generation
Finally, “Georgia to Texas” returns to the more Jazz and soul fuelled sound of his first album and is a good contrast to the previous few tracks, showcasing a range of influences on display throughout the album and hopefully we can look forward to a continuing growth in Bridges as an artist in his third record. This record shows signs that he has the potential to be one of the voices of his generation, however, the production sometimes takes away from his main strength, that beautiful voice.