Langhorne Slim, 'Be Set Free' (Kemado)

Critical Mass
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by Spencer Kornhaber

Most alt-country fetishizes cowboy days, but Langhorne Slim's third full-length does so while swiping tricks from this decade's best rock bands. The joyful chorus of "Say Yes" could have been shouted by Arcade Fire, while "I Love You, But Goodbye" walks the same line between loveliness and dissonance as Wilco. Slim aims for the gut but usually ends up hitting the hips; either way, his relentlessly cloying lyrics ensure that Be Set Free is more suitable for soundtracks and square dances than headphones.

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