Leon Bridges is a neo-soul revivalist straight out of Houston whose debut album Coming Home felt like it was taken whole cloth from an era 50 or 60 years in the past. Accordingly, some critics interpreted this as a weakness or ghost in Bridges’ potential career. Perhaps in response to this, or perhaps in unknown contradiction to it, he’s now released what amounts to a chopped-and-screwed and rap-verses-tacked-on version of his debut called Coming Home To Texas.
Following in both the stylistic and aesthetic footsteps of DJ Screw, the album is laced in purple and features tons of old Houston classics like Slim Thug and Bun B mixed into Bridges’ songs. It was produced in collaboration with MICK, Chi Duly, Hasan Insane, Donnie Houston, Jett I. Masstyr, Chris Rockaway, and TedyP. It’s got seven tracks, which is the entire original album save “Lisa Sawyer,” “Pull Away,” and “Twistin’ And Groovin’.” Per Mick’s explanation, it sounds like samples from old Texas rap songs are woven into the altered versions of Bridges’ songs:
Leon Bridges is an underground king who made a classic album with a timeless sound. I wondered what would happen if I remix that with timeless classics from the state of Texas? This is the result.
In his short career, Bridges’ crowning achievement is the spiritually-charged album closer “River” — which legitimately gives me chills every single time I listen to it — and the way that one is re-imagined here, it sounds like an outtake of from the “International Players Anthem” hymnal. I probably don’t even need to tell you this, but the whole project is fucking awesome. It’s also free, which makes it even more awesome. Stream below or download here.