Mon. Sep. 20, 2021

Leon Bridges – Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand

First Listen: Leon Bridges – Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand (Columbia)

You, familiar with this shores, might remember how we enthuzed about the then upcoming Leon Bridges. And more precisely about the laidback ‘Coming Home’, the title track of his debut-album. Three years have gone since with our man receiving a Grammy nomination. And eventually working on a couple of collaborations, although keepin’ his account silent since.

Well, the good news is that Bridges is back in full effect, sharing his first music in nearly three years. This with not a single, but two, including ‘Bad Bad News’ and ‘Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand’. Two way different cuts as a matter of fact as a teasing to his new album – ‘Good Thing’ – due to see the light on May. 04, 2018. With the singer eventually saying he was too excited about his new songs to share just one…

Strangely enough, I couldn’t help thinkin’ of Elton John‘s ‘Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word’ when givin’ a listen to Bridge’s newie. Most likely, I suppose, because ‘Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand’ just comes from the opposite perspective as a matter of fact. With the singer exposing his conflicted feelings about some romantic affair he can’t slow down long enough to make. “Don’t get your feelings broken for nothin’. 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. (I been hurt before, don’t wanna hurt no more). Sometimes the bet isn’t worth the hand…”

Meanwhile, he obviously inflected his approach from Southern Rhythm & Blues to Neo-Soul. Therefore reminding of lumnaries such as Raphael Saadiq if not Noel Gourdin to a certain extend. With thanks to Grammy nominee producer Rick Reed who co-wrote all the songs from the (new) album…

The bet isn’t worth the hand, but definitely worth the listen…

Download from iTunes.

Livin’ in Fort Worth, TX, Atlanta, GA native Leon Bridges is most definitely a Southern singer. Something you can feel from the very first notes when comin’ to listen to ‘Coming Home’ the title track of his 2015 debut-album. But also ‘Lisa Sawyer’, a song he wrote with his mom’s conversion in mind.

Speakin’ of her, he said… “My mother was a very religious person. So she didn’t allow me to listen to secular music. While she was at work, I’d turn on the radio and sneak a listen that way. It was quite an education, quite an eye-opener.”

Kinda hard to not think of Marvin Gaye when havin’ a look at him. But also of Sam Cooke or Otis Redding when hearin’ him. He learnt guitar by playing simple chords to accompany his lyrics as a matter of fact. Playing in some 50’s/60’s retro style at the beginning. Meanwhile finding a natural connection with producers Austin Jenkins and Joshua Block of the White Denim fame who worked on his first album. The latter seeing the light back in the Summer of 2015. Eventually bringing Bridges to get a nomination for ‘Best R&B Album’ at the 58th Grammy Awards for 2015. Itself followed by another one for 2016 for ‘Best Music Video’ for ‘River’.

The story continues in 2018 with the release of his second album – ‘Good Thing’ – due to hit the streets on May 04. An album he simultaneously opened with two singles by the likes of ‘Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand’ and ‘Bad Bad News’

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