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  • Best Albums 2015: Leon Bridges - 'Coming Home'

    Tue, 29 Dec 2015 09:53:42

    Best Albums 2015: Leon Bridges - 'Coming Home' - Best of 2015 #BestOf2015

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    Though Leon Bridges' debut album Coming Home dropped halfway through the year in June, buzz has been steadily building around the artist since he broke onto the scene last year. It's been a quick climb, too: After signing to Columbia exactly one year ago [see the pic below!] on the strength of his only two singles at the time, "Coming Home" and "Lisa Sawyer" , Bridges has since launched national and U.K. tours, performed as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, synced an original song to the Will Smith flick, Concussion, and received a Grammy nom for Best R&B Album.

    That's certainly one way to do it.

    And why not? The 26-year-old Fort Worth, Texas-based singer-songwriter has crafted an album that miraculously appeals to everyone. His tone is warm, soulful, and genuine, often compared to that of bygone entertainers like Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, but his songs are crafted for listeners with an ear for the techniques of today. "I'm Coming Home," for example, sounds like a doo-wop song from the early '60s played at low speed; the grooving "Smooth Sailin'" might have easily sprung from the also retro-leaning Bruno Mars (though it didn't; except for "Coming Home," Bridges co-wrote all the songs on his debut).

    At his live show, his crowds are impressively diverse; one recently observed in a live review for ARTISTdirect contained "a wildly mixed crowd of middle-aged parents, young students from nearby University of Washington, black and white, hip and square, an assembly as wide-reaching as the neo-soul man's music itself."

    Yet it's the whole package—that vintage aesthetic, Jackie Wilson dance moves, and a remarkable authenticity—that speaks to the promise and potential we all heard on Coming Home, and look forward to hearing more in the years to come.

    Watch "Coming Home" from Leon Bridges:

    —The ARTISTdirect Staff

    Tbt cheesin hard when I signed my @columbiarecords contract at @staples on University last December. Photo by @rambo

    A photo posted by Leon Bridges (@leonbridgesofficial) on

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