It's been a long dang time since an album got stuck on such a continuous repeat loop like Good Thing has for me recently. It's been the musical equivalent of Groundhog Day in my car. I try to move on to something else and immediately wake up with "Bet Ain't Worth the Hand" queued up. Unlike Phil Connors, I'm in no way lamenting my musical déjà vu. This album is fan-damn-tastic!
Leon Bridges had some heat and splash with his 2015 debut Coming Home. I recall the song "River" blipping on my radar but I had to revisit the whole album recently to fully appreciate what a unique soul this dude seems to be. No sophomore slumping for Leon. He comes out swinging for the fences and hitting every pitch. While Coming Home was marinated in the doo-wap r'n'b soul of the 60's, Good Things moves forward a decade with a shot of 1970's funk. He's a decade hopping musical chame-LEON. (See what I did there?).
And he's got the chops to pull it off. His smooth and soulfully silky voice can handle the new musical terrain he branches out into. It's incredibly fun to see an artist who has some success and then immediately keeps taking chances. The ones that don't stay in the same place are the ones to watch and this album makes me excited about all the places he might go.
All the instrumentation is wound in tight and succeeds in complimenting Leon's soul-injected words. I'm a devil for the details so here are a few of the truly tasty tidbits my ear keeps catching on Good Things:
- Album opens with Glockenspiel. You had me at "Glockenspiel."
- Dat bass on "Bad Bad News"... ugh... it's so good bobbin' and weavin' behind the scenes.
- "Forgive You" has some cowbellish clicks that move in and out the whole song. It's perfection.
Since we are nearing the end of summer it's also worth noting that tucked into the back half of this album is a pair of tracks that are solid soundtrack material for the dusky, hollowed out, dying days of this hot, hot season. If the whole album doesn't make it onto repeat for you... you might be content to find yourself lost in a mini loop of ""If It Feels Good (Then It Must Be)" and "You Don't Know." And that's perfectly reasonable.
Get in your car and hit play, we'll make a good good thing out of bad bad news...