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Music Review: Langhorne Slim and The Law - The Way We Move

langhorne slim cover
Langhorne Slim & The Law
The Way We Move
Available now on Ramseur Records (June 5, 2012)

Langhorne Slim sings like he’s in trouble with the law; pleading, explaining, laying everything on the line to be sure his actions are understood to be honest and intentions known to be noble.

On The Way We Move, Langhorne Slim & The Law weave their way through folk, Americana and rock, with Slim singing his heart out the entire way. His scratchy, honest, not-quite-falsetto voice may not be classically trained, but more importantly it’s emotive.

The title track opens things up with David Moore plunking out a joyous piano bounce between the chorus and verses while the Law chimes in, vocally echoing Slim’s declarations.

“I was born with a thorn in my soul/guess it could be worse. I might not’ve gotten much/but I know what it’s worth” Slim sings on “Bad Luck” over the top of a snapping one-two snare beat and banjo. He’s had his share of trouble and hard times, but even though bad luck’s rooted itself in him, Slim knows he’ll survive.

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Moore shines again on “Fire,” putting down a funky key part to set the stage for a tale about childhood crushes and the inevitable crushing of adult life. Hardly a pity party, The Law settles into its best groove of the album on the track, as Moore jams away on his keys like a Stax session man in the pocket.

A good half of the album finds the boys in balladeering mode. Banjos and guitars gently pick their way along as Langhorne wrenches every drop of feeling he can out of his vocal delivery. Nowhere is that more apparent than “Song For Sid,” an ode to the writer’s beloved, late grandfather.

“Move” tends to lean either toward patient ballads or up tempo foot tappers and rarely land anywhere in between. But whichever pole they happen to be leaning on, Langhorne sings it just might be his last song.