Born in Fort Worth Texas, 25 year-old Leon Bridges went from washing dishes to opening for Sharon Van Etten & The Sundance Festival, before being signed to Columbia Records, in the span of two years. Otis Redding throwback to 60’s soul, Coming Home feels warm, nostalgic and inviting. If not obvious enough by the cover’s design, the tracklist on the front of the record, or Leon’s wardrobe and stance, it’s definitely from the first sound of the record. That ride cymbal and snare drum crack, accompanied by a bass line, background singers, and the production to match. Taking away Leon’s smooth and in the pocket soulful vocals, the production on Coming Home, recorded & produced by Josh Block & Austin Jenkins of Niles City Sound in Fort Worth, Texas, is 100% accurate and an amazing feat in of itself.
But the real highlight of Coming Home is those vocal pipes on Leon Bridges. Smooth and soulful, title track “Coming Home” really shows off all his knowledge of classic soul music, and throughout the rest of the record as well. Where Coming Home is a breath of fresh air however, it does have its less eventful movements as well. Though debuting his vocal talents and knack for soulful songwriting, it would have been interesting to have a couple tracks where Leon picked up the pace and tried out a couple of Live At The Apollo sounding jams, where on Coming Home, Leon mainly sticks to the “Please, Please, Please” era of James Brown, then say, “Get Up.” Nonetheless, with tons of natural talent, a great recording & production house, and a debut album gaining more and more traction by the day, I hope we’ll see more and more of Leon Bridges in the future.