When I saw the title “Good Thing” by Leon Bridges I was immediately was reminded of the bible verse in Proverbs (Proverbs 18:22). The album is enjoyable, and Leon Bridges once again captivates with his soulful voice and smooth melodies. However, by the end of the album I felt tired and like I had been dragged through a rough relationship.
The first track on the album “Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand” greets the listener with smooth hypnotic melodies that immediately pull you into Leon Bridges’ soulful voice. The song is our introduction into the kind of relationships we will be experiencing on the album. A relationship that begins with hesitation due to hurt from past relationships. I feel that this can relate to anyone and provides a warning to everyone; you can take the bet or keep your hand, whatever you choose the choice is yours.
The next track allows us to meet our protagonist. Examples of what kind of person they are, are sprinkled throughout the lyrics. I find the hook very clever,
“they tell me I was born to lose,
but I made a good good thing out of bad bad news.”
The track is called “Bad Bad News” and it propels the album forward with melodies that remind me of a blues club. Our protagonist is a go-getter who is trying to stand out. Throughout the remainder of the album, we are going to be following behind this person as they go through their relationships.
“Shy” and “Beyond” are the beginning of an actual relationship for our protagonist. They are trying to be together, but the girl is shy as the track “Shy” indicates. Our protagonist, however, is not sober and declares that he needs her. Whether drunk in love or just drunk our protagonist is not using clear logic. When the next track “Beyond” begins we see the inkling of something more than just friends with benefits. I believe it suggests marriage. But our protagonist is worried that she is the perfect fit for him.
“I’m scared to death that she might be it
That the love is real, that the shoe might fit
She might just be my everything and beyond (beyond)
Space and time in the afterlife
Will she have my kids? Will she be my wife?
She might just be my everything and beyond”
These are very disconcerting lyrics to me because this places his lover on a pedestal. The place that our hero is suggesting is a spot that only a supernatural being could fulfill. The spot beyond everything is a spot reserved for God. By placing anyone in this position besides God, our protagonist has given his lover a disability.
A seemingly perfect relationship is thrown into turmoil when our protagonist realizes that his lover is not reciprocating his love and is cheating on him. “Forgive You” is the song and the last words of the song are;
“Maybe we can be together someday”
I feel that by the end of this track, that our protagonist has been cheated on because of the beginning lyrics.
“Did I not love enough to keep your attention on and on?
Am I the stupid one for doing everything that I did for us?”
He mentions white lies in the song and how his friends have told him not to forgive his ex-lover. What I like about this track is that it displays the important message of forgiveness. He forgave her of infidelity and lets it go. He is not pretending to be unscathed by the relationship, nor do we know how long until he was able to move forward, but we know he does.
The following tracks “Lions” and “If It Feels Good (Then It Must Be)” has our protagonist colder to the thought of a relationship and decides to instead to only experience the sexual side. However, by the end of “If It Feels Good (Then It Must Be)” our protagonist is excited to be embraced by a new lover. Our protagonist even stops trying to get into a serious relationship and decides to take a slower approach. The lyrics
“hey mysterious we don’t have to act so seriously
like nobodies watching only us baby
if it feels good then it must be
bad how much I want you”
Our protagonist is infatuated with this new-found love interest. He isn’t trying to rush into a marriage nor is he worried about a lasting commitment like in “Beyond”. In the following track “You Don’t Know” we get metaphors of his infatuation. This track is different from “Beyond” in the sense that there is no mention of marriage. It seems as if our hero has given up on forever and settled for any time by the end of the track. I feel that it offers sound relationship advice but needs to be tempered with biblical truth.
“You don’t know
But it’s right in front of me
You ain’t got to play it cool baby
Find that fire and set it free”
I believe that the differences we see here in “You Don’t Know” and “Beyond” are simple. In “Beyond” we see our protagonist nervous to ruin a perfect thing. When we put our significant others in the place of perfection we set them in the territory of God. A place of boundaries and rules that hide what made us attracted to them in the first place. However, our protagonist knows that his new lover is not perfect and wants her to be herself. She is not placed on a pedestal but by his side. They are equals and he wants her to be herself.
“Mrs.” Is the final chapter of the relationship and finds our protagonist married and working through problems. We do not know and are given no hint of what the problems are, but they are resolved with sex.
“I try to let go we end up on the floor
And you try to leave when I need you the most
Sometimes I wonder what we holding on for
Then you climb on top of me and I remember”
Our protagonist is married and happily in love with his wife. They have times of struggle, but they resolve it with intimacy. I feel that sex is a good thing when in the context of marriage. It allows a couple to rekindle intimacy and remember their commitment to one another. Sex without a marriage does not hold the same grip (for lack of a better term). However, I believe that because they are having sex as a married couple they are reminded of their commitment to each other.
The album “Good Thing” is enjoyable because of the melodies and smooth voice of Leon Bridges. To create the experience of a relationship in 10 tracks is an incredible feat and I enjoyed myself. “Beyond” “Shy” and “Mrs.” Are my favorite tracks on the album, but I don’t play them often unless I find myself feeling soulful (It’s a weird thing about me). Did you listen to “Good Thing”? If so what did you think of the story and what are your favorite tracks? Let me know in the comments below. As always thanks for reading Fam.
Grace to you,