Soul to soothe the soul. That’s what Coming Home, the debut album of 25-year-old Leon Bridges, is and does. When you listen to this album you can appreciate the sound of actual instruments being keenly played, melt at the warm vocals, and stamp a simple but solid “Soul” label on it. Considering today’s overwhelming number of emerging genres, the back-to-basics beauty of Coming Home is refreshing.
Title track off of Leon Bridges's debut
The crisp gospel throwback of Coming Home’s title track is what first drew attention to Bridges in 2014. And that initial hype isn’t squandered on the rest of the album. The collection exhibits diversity, while still remaining true to the cozy, classic sound people first fell for. “Flowers,” with a fast-paced swing-jazz tempo is notable for its infectious rhythm. “Better Man” combines a contemporary edge with sweet doo-wop background accents. (It’s one you want to listen to over and over again.) The slower, balladic melodies of “Shine” and “Pull Away” will tug at your heartstrings the same way a nostalgic photograph will.
“River” makes for a gorgeous cap-off to the album. Spare instrumentation provides Bridges the opportunity to demonstrate how well his voice can stand on its own. Add syrupy backing vocals by Brittni Jessie and lyrics like “Been traveling these wide roads for so long/ My heart’s been far from you/ Ten-thousand miles gone” and the Soul package is complete. As well as a desire for more new old-school music.
- Album: Coming Home
- Artist: Leon Bridges
- Label: Columbia
- Songs: (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’ and Groovin’ (10) River