Rediscover the glory days of Motown with Leon Bridges

He’s got that timeless voice and that classic look which make you shake your head when you hear that he’s only 25 years old and his first album just dropped this week. But Leon Bridges is the real deal, even if he’s so young.

There’s a smoothness and a joyfulness to Leon Bridges’ sound that make him both easy and a pleasure to listen to. But that doesn’t make him shallow. He’s got lyrical depth so missing among pop musicians.

His first single “Lisa Sawyer,” a tribute to his mother, tells her story with lyrical economy and an uncloying sweetness that most tributes lack. From the color of her skin to the day she responded to a gospel message, Bridges gives us surprising and rich details.

And for Sony’s most anticipated artist of the year, his honest reflections on faith are also surprising. From “River” to “Flowers” to “Shine,” Bridges is unflinching in his biblical echoes and desire to bring glory to the Lord. There is no pretense, no preachiness. All there is is a simple authenticity that is both honest and endearing.

This is how the gospel is preached best. With beauty. With integrity. Without guile. Without bullying. With joy.

There are few albums I’ve looked forward to more and been even more pleased with the result than I’d hoped for.

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