RIVER

Artist: Leon Bridges

Genre: R&B

Notable lyrics:

Been traveling these wide roads for so long
My heart’s been far from you
Ten-thousand miles gone
Oh, I wanna come near and give ya
Every part of me
But there’s blood on my hands
And my lips aren’t clean
In my darkness I remember
Momma’s words reoccur to me
“Surrender to the good Lord
And he’ll wipe your slate clean”
Take me to your river
I wanna go
Oh, go on
Take me to your river
I wanna know
Tip me in your smooth waters
I go in
As a man with many crimes
Come up for air
As my sins flow down the Jordan
Oh, I wanna come near and give ya
Every part of me
But there’s blood on my hands
And my lips aren’t clean
Take me to your river
I wanna go
Go on,
Take me to your river
I wanna know.

Leon Bridges is a young Gospel singer who rose to fame in 2015. Born and brought up in Texas, Leon stuck to making Gospel and soul songs. Apparently, The Wall Street Journal described him as a “throwback to ’60s-soul a la Otis Redding and Sam Cooke.”

The song is basically about redemption, or plainly salvation. Whether or not this song is an ode to Jesus is debatable. Since Leon’s popular with making Gospel music, it’s safe to assume that the song is a kind of prayer. That being said, it can also be interpreted as a love song, or simply a song about going back to ones’ roots. But what’s enthralling is the symbolism in the music video and the metaphors used in the song. It all truly is a work of art.

Being the simple and melodious song it is, River is supported solely by the guitar for a beautiful tune and the strong voice of Leon himself. The song also uses back-up vocals, which happens to be a prominent part of most gospel songs. What’s even more beautiful is when Brittni’ Jessie’s voice is stripped off any mechanical adjustments, and all that remains are raw emotions and the purity of it all. There are a few theatrical aspects to it, which would otherwise be considered redundant. Pertaining to the music video, everything was well calculated and fitted to the design. The video is mainly about the daily riots in the neighborhoods, be it a fight against racism or police brutality. Despite there being many liberals in a country like America, the African-Americans still face racism on an everyday basis. The video captures the issue perfectly. Since breaking it down to its bits and pieces is a tedious process, all I can say is each scene speaks a different story (beautifully). Anybody that’s ever denied that music and music videos are works of art, can be rightfully shut down now.

Recently, there’s been a stereotype floating around – that all 21st century music is distasteful. Only arrogant and pretentious snobs can come up with something so crude and untrue. While most modern-day pop songs fail to meet the standards once set up by the music lords, there definitely exist a million artists who are very self-efficient and talented, once of such being Leon Bridges. There are thousands of songs being released everyday that are better than any that’s ever been created; all you really have to know is where to look.