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Leon Bridges – Gold-Diggers Sound (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Leon Bridges – Gold-Diggers Sound (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/44,1kHz | Time – 36:41 minutes | 372 MB | Genre: Soul
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Columbia

‘Gold-Diggers Sound’ celebrates Leon Bridges’ immersive experience of creating music in the same East Hollywood room where he lived, worked, and drank over the course of two years. The soulful collaboration between Leon as an artist and the space itself was so encompassing that he chose to name the album after the soon-to-be legendary complex.

With his 2015 debut Coming Home, Texas musician Leon Bridges injected a cool modern style into classic ’50s and early ’60s soul, making like a brand-new Sam Cooke (right down to the pleated high-waisted trousers and sweater-knit polos). But like Kacey Musgraves, who he has duetted with, Bridges is using his third album as a sort of reinvention—not so much a makeover as an opportunity to spread his wings wider. This time around, he’s delving into the smoothest of R&B, and there’s little that’s retro about it. “Magnolias” employs a trap beat and bright horns to bolster silky vocals from Bridges and guest Ink. She also picks up the female half of a conversation about a relationship on the swamp-sultry “Don’t Worry,” singing “It wasn’t just one time/ Baby, I been living with your lies too long” as a response to Bridges’ “Shut you out, you know I tried/ Said I got over you but I lied.” Bridges shares the studio with a host of interesting musicians, including pianist Robert Glasper on opener “Born Again,”—a real mood of a song—and Terrace Martin on saxophone for a few tracks, including the excellent “Sweeter.” Bridges outlines a harsh reality on that gorgeous and painful song: “Hoping for a life more sweeter/ Instead I’m just a story repeating/ Why do I fear with skin dark as night? … Did the words of the King disappear in the air like a butterfly?” It’s a beautiful, contemplative punch to the gut. Elsewhere, there’s a jazzy Earth, Wind & Fire flavor to the sexy “Steam” and Afrobeat rhythms fuel the dreamy and sensual “Motorbike”—which proves that Bridges can illustrate longing with the best of the big-time lovermen. (So do “Details” and “WDYTM,” aka “Why Don’t You Touch Me,” casting Bridges as John Legend with more edge.) Even the 42-second sax-and-brass interlude “Gold-Diggers (Junior’s Fanfare)” feels carefully considered, like a palate cleanser from all the vocal richness. – Shelly Ridenour

1. Leon Bridges – Born Again
2. Leon Bridges – Motorbike
3. Leon Bridges – Steam
4. Leon Bridges – Why Don’t You Touch Me
5. Leon Bridges – Magnolias
6. Leon Bridges – Gold-Diggers (Junior’s Fanfare)
7. Leon Bridges – Details
8. Leon Bridges – Sho Nuff
9. Leon Bridges – Sweeter
10. Leon Bridges – Don’t Worry
11. Leon Bridges – Blue Mesas


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