Leon Bridges dropped his stunning first single “Coming Home” back in 2015, along with releasing his debut record of the same title. It was hard for fans and critics alike to believe Bridges when he said he never intended to write Soul music, as his voice and singing style immediately drew references to Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye. Now, with two new singles out, it seems that Leon Bridges is leaning into his R&B, crooner persona.
“Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand” is a beautiful ballad reminiscent of The Temptations. In it, the heartsick Bridges sings about taking a chance on a loved one. “Maybe I’m leavin’ / Leavin’ here with nothin’ / I might regret that I can’t be your man / Sometimes the bet isn’t worth the hand,” Bridges belts. You can listen to the full “Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand” audio below.
On the livelier, bombastic second single “Bad Bad News”, Bridges vocals move along a bouncy bass line to the backdrop of undisciplined horns. “They tell me I was born to lose / But I made a good good thing out of bad bad news,” he sings. Check out the contagiously groovy “Bad Bad News” below.
“Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand” and “Bad Bad News” are a part of a larger announcement from Bridges, who recently took to Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 radio show. The soul singer will drop his long-awaited sophomore album Good Thing on May 4th via Columbia Records. From the sounds of “Bad Bad News” and “Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand”, it appears that Leon Bridges remains committed to the fundamentals of his genre. Bridges, by exploring the softer, jazzier side of R&B, is the most dominant voice we’ve heard since the emergence of R. Kelly.
Though Good Thing seems to be a more traditional release in the realm of Leon Bridges’ work, the singer has spent time collaborating with artists far outside his genre, such as touring with pop mogul Harry Styles, appearing on tracks by rapper Lecrae, and EDM artist ODESZA. Will there be any surprising collaborations on Bridges upcoming album Good Thing? We definitely think it’s possible.