Langhorne Slim sets off to set you free

Though I sit alone in my sparse living quarters, I glance over my shoulder to see if I’ve still got my pride. I reminisce of the times in life where doubt ceased to drag me down. There are a few instances, and they begin to linger as soon as I happen upon To Be Set Free, the album by folk rock be-bop, Langhorne Slim.

He leaves a peculiar impression upon my senses. I want to jump and I want to dance, yet I can’t get past ears squinting to hear his lyrics. I want to analyze them but realize that just as poetry; no one can discern their meaning besides the artist at hand.

Is he loony? Does he smoke cigars? Are those hats that he wears in the promotional material in his actual wardrobe or does he borrow them to compliment his earthy yet urban sound?

Don’t bang on that drum all night; it’ll take you nowhere kid. Don’t woo me gently and then refuse my kiss. Scorn meets a lovers’ haste upon cloud nine in this compilation of tune.

The last few works of enthusiasm that came from Langhorne Slim approached music by taking lines of fragmented verse and stitching them together with lopsided piano and tunes so giddy they’d make the lollipop guild appear depressed. This project, however, seems a bit more downtrodden, but in the jolliest of ways. It lacks the upbeat anthems prevalent on other projects and lends more to his yearning.

I’m a fan of ballads because I always figured the slow and steady accompaniment allowed for  an easier stab at the heartfelt lyrics. However, in Slims arrangements I almost feel as though I understand the words better than before. It’s a dichotomy that I enjoy now. It throws me off the beaten path.

Valley fever never felt so right. Please don’t allow this tomfoolery to subside. Here are heartfelt hopes, that in his self discovery, he keep up his effortlessly intriguing prose-to-sound ratio.

His vocals recall me of a stubborn and wanton parlor act. Bulesque perhaps? He twists and he turns and his lungs howl out the emotions he seeks to requite. It’s vaudeville for the scene kids, temptation for the tempted, but certainly not sand to the beach.

I’m used to the dissonance and chaos that accompanies Slim, this album includes ballads as I’ve not heard him perform before, Cinderella being the only piece of the album that lends his all too familiar kick.

Blues, folk and funk combine and I’m enjoying this new album much more than I thought I ever could. Dignity intact, I’ll finish out the night in his solemn company.

-Holly Jones, Editor, On Tour Magazine



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