May 22, 2008

Langhorne Slim-Langhorne Slim

For all the experiences in music that can take you on a different trajectory, a different tangent, sometimes the best experience can be the simplest. A simple tune, full of heart and soul and that all important ingredient, joy. For Langhorne Slim brings joy. In bucket loads, without reservation or hesitation. There is no, repeat no, artifice or shallowness and definitely no cynicism. These songs of Mr Slim are purely small tales of life. Of love. Of hope. Sometimes, that can be good for the soul and the mind. To fill it with a true feeling of love and optimism. This latest effort from Langhorne Slim, self titled, is another chapter in the book of Langhorne guts and glory. That's not to say that all his songs are about sunshine and puppies, some have sad topics, but all his songs are imbued with a melody and rhythm that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

This album is brisk and to the point. With only one song clocking in at over four minutes, there is no fat on this platter. It's just a romp through a palate of country, folk and blues concocted and brewed by Langhorne Slim in his New York habitat. The opening song is "Spinning Compass", where the tone is set for the album, swinging horns, jaunty acoustic and a gentle melody. Second up is the oft played "Rebel Side of Heaven", which is playful and a pure joy. It really swings, with a devilish glint in its eye. A clear expression of Langhorne Slim's writing, relatively simple but always bursting with life and its misfortunes and also good fortunes. Each song on this album has a similar feel, but each is tweaked and tuned slightly different to keep the ear satisfied. Other tracks to delight are the openly hopeful "Restless", the eternally optimistic "Sometimes", and the foot stomping "She's Gone". My absolute standout though is "Colette", a slow and purposeful song that reeks of true love and heart. "We stepped into the light and took pictures of each other...". It is a consistent album though, to be sure, with barely any filler. "Hello Sunshine" continues the trend of the singer's brand of howling country, whilst "Diamonds and Gold" is a life lesson in keeping a certain degree of optimism in your life. And in this age of cynicism, pessimism and needless destruction, isn't it nice to acknowledge the joy in this existence of ours. Langhorne Slim sees the pain in life, but then gives it a right upper cut. Placing a smile on all our faces. Truth.

MP3: Rebel Side of Heaven-Langhorne Slim
This album can be purchased from Kemado Records.

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