Leon Bridges is a breath of fresh air on the music scene. His appeal reeks of nostalgia, but we would be selling him short if we said that that’s all there is to it. This 26 year old Texan is dressed like his grandfather would have been, in old time shirts tuxedos and very high trousers. He is backed by a six-piece band, and the members are fond of Stetsons and bolo ties. They’ve even shot videos in black and white.
But it all comes to place when you hear the music. Bridges is, by his own words, fascinated with vintage soul music, and it shows. Reminiscent of Sam Cooke, it sounds completely anachronistic. The songs are short and sweet, and we can hardly remember hearing anything so relaxing in modern R&B and soul. What is additionally pleasing is the way he carries himself. Without a smidgen of cockiness common to modern singers, he exhibits an almost shy persona. Even though his style is conservative, it is refreshing and even radical.
Leon was brought up on gospel music and profanity-free pop music. Although some musicians might have created rebellious material if they had been growing up in a musically limited environment, Bridges does not. In fact, he has wonderful tribute to his mother on the album, the song “Lisa Sawyer.” The rest of the material is thematically limited to romance and other forms of love. No social activism of any kind here, unless you count saying NO to the lurid, and explicit sound of today.
His album “Coming Home” debuted at No.1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums.
Get it from Amazon here.