Langhorne Slim: Be Set Free
A Folky Feast
By Kate Kiefer
By Andy Whitman
Langhorne Slim’s shtick—the ramblin’ folkie troubadour, with accompanying nasal yelp and requisite weather-beaten cap—is a tough act to sell. You’re only competing with Woody Guthrie and the young Bob Dylan. The songs had better be good. On his third full album, Slim adds some pop sheen to the expected folkie raggedness, but Woody can rest easy, and Bob doesn’t need to think twice. These are mediocre, and sometimes painfully inept, approximations of classic lovelorn folk tunes. At a short 38 minutes, the times aren’t changin’ fast enough.
On “Land Of Dreams,” Slim opines, “Everyone has got a dream, you know what I mean / Everyone wants to see what they’ve never seen.” Hallmark Cards, Inc. would agree. On the dour ballad “Sunday by the Sea,” he drops this pearl of wisdom: “What’s happened has happened, what will be we’ll see.” Doris Day would be proud. And on the lugubrious, overwrought title track, Slim sings, “Whether I’m right, whether I’m wrong / Time it goes by, life it goes on.” Yep. That just about covers it. Slim’s in love, and then out of love, and he doesn’t have an original thing to say about it.