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.
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.
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