When this album appeared on my desk a month or so before its physical release, I took one look at the cover and immediately wondered if there was an artist back in the golden age of R&B, before the lads from Liverpool changed the entire landscape, that I may have missed.
Nah, it isn't possible, I thought. I'm like Corey Crawford, baby, nothing gets past me.
Then I listened to the album and thought, Well, you know, Corey Crawford isn't perfect, then I flipped the album over half-expecting to see "© 1963", only to find that this album is straight out of 2015.
How can this be that a man born in 1989 - the year rap and hip-hop hit the mainstream and forever changed urban music - could so thoroughly and believably recreate the humanity and soul of early R&B that perished from existence long before he was ever born?
I mean, this isn't some Harry Connick Jr. merely emulating the music of a by-gone era, this, adies and gentlemen, is a living, breathing 1960's soul man.
My first thought, of course, once I was able to wrap my head around this record being recorded in the age of technology-run-wild was What if this is the Nevermind that we've been waiting for?
What if this is the record that nobody sees coming, but once we do, it changes EVERYTHING?
I'm not talking about Hootie and the fucking Blowfish - something the masses embrace then discard like a dirty shirt - but something that becomes a part of the national consciousness long after the newness fades, like that Sam Cooke song that never fails to move you no matter how many times you hear it.
Thing is, Leon Bridges music, as derivative and recognizable as it may be on first-listen, actually manages to create something new by breathing life into a body that already existed, but hadn't been fully mined yet before the horde moved on to Beatlemania and Motown pop gloss.
Sometimes to move forward, ya gotta take a few steps back and choose a different fork in the road. Leon Bridges Coming Home is that fork.