Luna Kafé e-zine  Luna Kafé record review
coverpic flag US - New York - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 26 - 12/03/98

Sue Garner
To Run More Smoothly
Thrill Jockey

This could be one of the hidden beauties of the year? To Run More Smoothly is a solo album from Sue Garner of Run On, plus a long line of other bands and projects; Fish & Roses, Peach Cobbler, Vietnam, the Last Round Up, Shams. And, guess what; Sue is the real Catwoman!

Assisted by fellow Run On-er Rick Brown (synth, sequencer, drums and percussion), who's co-written two of the songs on this album, and producer Chris Stamey (bass, guitar, and harmonium) - a long time hero from the dB's, and a quality mark for sure. Among the other musical friends of Sue we find Georgia Hubley of Yo La Tengo, who's added some sober drumming on (parts of) the album. Sue also plays two cover -songs; Dear Darling by Mary Margaret O'Hara, and country-man Merle Haggard's Silver Wings. Yes, Sue Garner flirts with the country genre, or the American tradition of folky rootsy song-writing/singing, but she approaches the genre with her songs from un-traditional and experimental angles.

Sue's got a fine voice, and she's able to create exciting pieces of music. The two tracks written together with Rick Brown, Intuition and Sense Enough, are the most experimental and rhythmical on the album, in contrast to some of the more traditional songs such as the cover-songs mentioned. Other words to describe To Run More Smoothly could be sobriety and minimalism. Finest moment: Continuous Play. And, finally, if you're wondering why I claimed Sue to be Catwoman: there's a picture of Sue's (?) cat on the cover, there's a drawing of a cat on the label, and when side 1 of the album is over you can hear - if you've got the vinyl version, and if you've got a record-player that leaves the needle bumping against the label while the turntable keeps on spinning - the cosy and friendly sound of a cat! Mrrrrrrrrrr...

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