Judging by the first two singles from Leon Bridges’ Good Thing, the album will find him exploring more shades of retro cool than just the ’60s R&B that made his 2015 debut Coming Home such a sensation. “Bad Bad News” impeccably rendered smoky jazz and soul with a hip-hop pulse, reminding me of none other than Anderson .Paak. The ballad “Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand” presented a more fluid look back through R&B history.
Now we get to hear “Beyond,” a dreamy tune built from acoustic guitar and drum programming so organic-sounding you might not notice it’s drum programming. Hooks abound, letting Bridges show off the weathered textures at the edges of his voice. It’s gentle and pretty, once again classic-sounding without going so overtly retro, and its further explanation of different styles and textures bodes well for the album.
Bridges sings, “I’m scared to death that she might be it/ That the love is real/ That the shoe might fit/ She might just be my everything and beyond.” He goes on to imagine starting a family with this newfound lover in addition to visions of “space and time and the afterlife.” Listen below.
Good Thing is out 5/4 on Columbia. Pre-order it here.