I don’t know where I’ve been but I hadn’t been familiar with Leon Bridges or his style of retro R&B/soul until late last year. Being a product of and being basically raised by the sounds of classic Motown, I was instantly intrigued by this 20-something singer who sounded like he was directly transplanted from the ’60s/’70s. While it’s extremely evident from where he gets his musical influences, Good Thing, for the most part, does a good enough job of modernizing that throwback sound so it doesn’t come off as a tribute album. R&B and soul has changed so drastically in the decades since Motown’s height that his sweet nothings about love can come off as a bit overly ‘cute’, but there are some flashes of edge – I just think he should lean into that a bit more if he doesn’t want to get boxed in as a mere revivalist. His voice has so much depth and richness to it that that’d be a shame.
At times it can be as hokey as you'd expect, crossing off a checklist of myriad Caribbean and reggae cliches, but damn if it isn't an enjoyable listen nonetheless. I can't remember the last time we've heard Sting having this much fun and their clear natural chemistry together makes for good vibes.
On Caer, for every moment of true brilliance there are moments of head scratching mundanity, but regardless of these concerns, it's still an extremely smooth listen and another lesson from Twin Shadow in crafting sparkling pop hooks.
Despite the clear similarities to Amy Winehouse, Kali Uchis' music stands on it's own and it's a brilliant exploration of blues, funk, soul, R&B, and latin sounds, which she maneuvers through with impressive ease. Isolation is a breathtaking debut and a statement piece that shows she might just be music's next big thing.
Ain’t got no riches, ain’t got no money that runs long But I got a heart that’s strong and a love that’s tall Ain’t got no name, ain’t got no fancy education But I can see right through, a powdered face on a painted fool
– “Bad Bad News”
Have you heard Good Thing? What’d you think about it? Would you like to hear Leon Bridges take on a more contemporary sound? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your own ratings and reactions for the album.
Leon Bridges – Good Thing Reaction
It's almost impossible not to get caught up in the nostalgic bliss of Leon Bridges' "Good Thing" but there's enough modernity present to keep me coming back for more than just the family cookout.