Leon Bridges, a 25-year-old Fort Worth native with a golden voice, is wholly comfortable living in the past.
His Columbia debut Coming Home deftly recalls all the well-bronzed giants of soul—your Aretha, your Otis, and especially, in Bridges' case, Sam Cooke. This kind of soul revival, brought over the last decade by places like Daptone Records and artists like the Alabama Shakes, the late Amy Winehouse and others, has been almost universally embraced by (mostly older, white) music fans. (Bridges commented on this phenomenon recently in The Guardian, saying "I have a song called "Brown Skinned Girl", and I ask 'Where my brown-skinned girls at?' And there's maybe one or two in the crowd. It's a little awkward sometimes.") Regardless of skin tone, fans of classic R&B will dig this album as it wholly echoes the tropes we associate with the genre: Tons of reverb, backing female singers, organ, complementary horn arrangements, doo-wops, ballads, songs of love, loss and pretty girls who can shake that thing across several municipalities.