Monday, December 14, 2009

Best Albums of 2009: No 7 - Langhorne Slim's Be Set Free

To call Be Set Free the album that Ryan Adams should've made almost undersells Langhorne Slim's greatest attribute over Adams.

He's just a lot fucking happier.

For as much as Slim (nee Sean Scolnick) would like to fancy himself as a folk singer, he's essentially trodding down the alt-country, gospel tinged road laid by Adams with Whiskeytown and his solo albums Heartbreaker and Gold. The vocals aren't as strong, but somehow that makes them more evocative.

But the real difference is in the songwriting. Where Adams got off at some point and started sucking and becoming self-indulgent (only to occassionally flirt back with greatness), Slim keeps writing about love, sex, girls he should've had, and girls who'll never have him.

He rollicks and romps through "Cinderella" and "Say Yes" and shines on the slower, more thoughtful ballads "Sunday By The Sea" and "I Love You, But Goodbye." But my favorite is "Land of Dreams," with his baragaining lyric: "Take me tonight I'm yours/for as long as I can be."

On his Twitter profile, Slim writes "I'm not sure there's any other kind, but the songs I write are love songs." Damn right they are. Let's hope Slim can keep it up. This album is pure gold.

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