Smooth Sailin’ – Leon Bridges

It’s no surprise that Leon Bridges draws comparisons of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke. Or that his largest listening-base is in London. (Those Brits are fairly soulful, after all.)

My craving for modern soul always leads me down interesting paths, and it caused me to knock on Leon Bridge’s door, seeking reprieve from the Twenty One Pilot’s of the world.

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Bridges is only 26, and his maturity both as an individual and a musician, greatly predates his current generation. Even in interviews, his demeanor is relaxed, respectful and open.

He’s taken an interesting stance on his sound, though. Bridges has been quoted as saying that he thinks he was born in the right generation. He understands that it’s his throwback sound that draws attention now, whereas in the 50s or 60s, he’d probably get swallowed up in the sea of soulful musicians.

“Smooth Sailin'” boogies the way an old Stax-produced track would. It’s a refreshing pick-me-up in the recent trend of moody, echoey, beat-laden tracks.

I can see Bridges forming himself as less of a breakout mainstream artist, and more of an under-the-radar artist that sticks around for awhile, like The Gaslight Anthem. Substance is the name of the game when it comes to this young, striking musician.

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