JULY 23, 2021
I love it when an artist or band releases music today that instantly feels like a blast from the past, i.e., Greta Van Fleet, Michael Bublé, and Blitzentrapper. It’s the sincerest form of flattery to those who paved the way and inspired future generations with their music. Whereas sometimes this sign of flattery can borderline on copycatting, a few artists are able to make an older sound their own and breathe new life into it. Enter: Mr. Leon Bridges.
It’s extremely surprising how many people have never heard of Leon Bridges, especially considering he boasts a whopping 9.9M listeners per month on Spotify (not too shabby Leon).
Like most of you, my exposure to Leon Bridges has been very limited. Before the release of his latest album, Gold-Diggers Sound, I had only heard a song or two from his debut album, Coming Home. In this album, Leon’s sound is very much inspired by old-school music from the 1950s. With this sound, a little mix of Motown, and a very conservative use of saxophone, this album is a prime example of a modern-day artist inspired heavily by the music that shaped his life. But now we’re getting off-topic. We’re here to talk about Gold-Diggers Sound.
Leon Bridges has done a fantastic job of showing the music industry’s growth throughout the decades with every release of an album. He started out very 1950s driven with Coming Home, moved on to a more contemporary sound with hints of 70s/80s R&B in Good Thing, and now progresses to an early 2000s/modern vibe with Gold-Diggers Sound.
Each track fits in well with the next, creating a very consistent record that doesn’t really have any low points. The saxophone heavy interlude on the first track oddly reminds me of a scene in a detective movie where the main character is wandering the streets on a rainy night with his hat on, collar popped, head down and hands in his pocket. Seriously, think about it when you give this song a listen. Tell me you don’t see it!
But anyway, I digress. Back to finishing the review…
What stands out to me the most about Gold-Digger Sound would have to be its overall consistency and Bridge’s fantastic ability to showcase his influences without turning it into a hot mess. It doesn’t get too exciting and nothing, in particular, makes you say “WOW”. At best, it’s a very relaxing album to turn on and enjoy. I would comfortably recommend this record and his others to anybody who appreciates the influence of older artists in the music they listen to. With so much talent showcased in his short career so far, it’s extremely exciting to see what Leon Bridges comes up with next!
Keep rockin’ ya’ll 🤘
Favorite tracks: Steam | Don't Worry
Least Favorite Track: Magnolias
Gold-Digger Sound is now available on Spotify!