Langhorne Slim gets more rockin’, but keeps the fun, on his latest, self-titled release. The Langhorne, Pennsylvania native (born Sean Scolnick) made a splash a few years ago with “Electric Love Letter” and When the Sun’s Gone Down, finding himself on ‘rebel billionaire’ Richard Branson’s new label, V2. But after only the Enigma EP in 2006, Slim was once again a man without a country. Now he’s found himself, on Kemado Records, and he hasn’t lost any of his cheer.
Slim opens up his record strong with “Spinning Compass”, both fun and funny in its happy-wry way. The following “Rebel Side of Heaven” is some catchy honky-tonk country-fun. But the best aspect of Slim is not actually its upbeat nature, but Slim’s faster fun-folk times, like on those two or the country-drive “Restless”. Unlike the first two, “Restless” is more serious, and manages to have a carrying power. When Slim gets away from that, especially in the sadder and slower pieces like “Colette” and finisher “Hummingbird”, he’s really getting away from what he does best.
That best is when Slim’s excited, like on the stand out ‘get’s you movin’’ “She’s Gone”, the fuzzed-up catchy drive of later “The Honeymoon”, or the freak-folk jamboree of the following “Tipping Point”. Sometimes the tracks on Slim can be a little too simple, like the ditty “Sometimes” or the country-call “Oh Honey”. And sometimes things can get a bit too bright, like with the back-to-back “Hello Sunshine” and “Diamonds And Gold”.
But if Langhorne Slim smiles a bit too much, he’s earned it – right now, he’s finishing up a tour with Josh Ritter (QRO album review), including this Monday at Music Hall in Williamsburg (QRO calendar listing), before heading out on his own (starting with a sold-out record release party next Wednesday at Mercury Lounge – QRO calendar listing – and finishing up headlining Music Hall all on his own – QRO calendar listing). And with Langhorne Slim, he’s got something to sing about.