Leon Bridges – “The bet ain’t worth the hand” and “Bad Bad News”
Leon Bridges doesn’t make bad songs. Or, if he does, we never hear them. He came roaring back this week, releasing two songs off his new LP “Good Thing”, “The bet ain’t worth the hand” and “Bad Bad News”.
I’ve been waiting, wishing, praying that this man would release music since his debut album Coming Home was released in 2015. While that record had more of an early-mid 60s Motown vibe, and rarely strayed from it, his two new songs see him exploring new sounds and slowly bringing his sound into the modern age.
“The bet ain’t worth the hand” makes being so cold sound so warm. It has a early 70s soul feel to it, and finds Leon telling his lover not to get too attached, sometimes giving yourself to somebody isn’t worth it. He’s got things to do and it doesn’t include you. It’s soulful, sexual, longing, and really, really good. This track exemplifies what Leon does best, capture a moment in time and sprinkle some modern flavor onto it.
“Bad Bad News” is a fusion of old-school jazz with some early funk influences. Leon sounds like he’s channeling Miles Davis, walking into a dimly lit, smoke-filled jazz club and playing everybody off the stage. The funk influences come from the call and response vocals and the funky ass guitar solo that ends the track. Both songs have me even more excited for his upcoming album. His sound is evolving beautifully, it’s funkier, riskier, more groovy, and the first two singles prove he doesn’t know the meaning of a sophomore slump. Protect Leon Bridges at all costs.
The Return of Lil Boat
I think we all can agree that Teenage Emotions was beyond disappointing. Aside from a few catchy sing-along tracks, it lacks the personality and uniqueness that made me love Lil Boat in the first place. Luckily, Lil Boat 2 is (mostly) a return to form for the young Atlanta rapper/autotune crooner. It’s a much, much darker and more sinister sounding record, but the goofy playfulness in the lyrics and concepts are more refined and much stronger than in the original Lil Boat mixtape. My three favorites are below.
She Ready ft. PnB Rock
Boom! ft. Ugly God
NBAYOUNGBOAT ft. Youngboy Never Broke Again
Rich the Kid – Early Morning Trapping ft. Trippie Redd
Rich the Kid is 99% personality, 1% rapping ability. He’s got all sorts of charisma, and can write a catchy hook, but the lyrical content and concepts all sort of sound the same. I enjoyed “Rich Forever 3” but that was mostly because I can’t get enough of Famous Dex. This song is completely dominated by Trippie. I won’t say he “Renegade”d Rich because it’s worse than that, he stole the whole thing and pushed him off the track completely.
Rich is too comfortable letting his guest stars take center stage. And if this track is any indication, The World is Yours, will be more of a DJ Khaled-esque mixtape rather than a fully realized, singular artistic vision. Those features are spicy though…..
Worst of the Week
The Chainsmokers – Everybody Hates Me
Yes, yes we do. Sometimes a song title is a little too on the nose. Embracing your critics isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the way the Chainsmokers go about it is completely tone deaf. “I just want to drink tequila with my friends”. If you just want to relax and not have critics, stop making music. Nobody feels bad for you. You have ‘haters’ and critics because, like Larry the Cable Guy, you’re incredibly popular and most people don’t understand why. That, and the music you put out, which wasn’t very good to begin with, keeps getting worse and worse. This song is infuriatingly bland and boring. If you’re going to be bad, at least be interesting.