Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Time Between Trains
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
Time Between Trains is an album of small virtues. The production by Darell Scott is spare and beautiful. Scott adorns each song with subtly idiosyncratic touches (Scottish bagpipes, Indian tablas) that add surprising textu... more »
Listen to Samples
Time Between Trains is an album of small virtues. The production by Darell Scott is spare and beautiful. Scott adorns each song with subtly idiosyncratic touches (Scottish bagpipes, Indian tablas) that add surprising textures. This is an album for travelers between allegiances, romantic and otherwise. Throughout, one hears mandolins, bouzoukis, trumpets, and violins, yet the overall effect is intimate. Unfortunately, Werner is a better vocalist than songwriter. Some tunes are melodically flat and lyrically pedantic. Strangely, she finally lets her hair down with the hidden track, "When They Make a Movie of My Life." Seemingly intended as a joke, it has much more going on melodically than many of her originals. --Anthony Bonet
Similarly Requested CDs
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have come "back" to the "contemporary folk" genre very reluctantly, after being disgusted by the sappiness and banality of much of the music I was hearing in the 70's and early 80's. Well, you needn't worrry about that with Susan Werner. First, Werner is an accomplished musician, moving easily from piano to guitar, "folk" to jazz, with a strong musical style that defies easy characterization. She is also a powerful vocalist and a fine songwriter, romantic without being trite, bitingly sarcastic without being "angry". I saw her live just last night at a small theatre in the suburbs of NYC, after we were hit with a heavy snowstorm. Only perhaps 200 people showed, but she performed with tremendous spirit and dedication, at the same time maintaining a constant dialog with the (perhaps a bit reticant, at first) audience. You must buy this CD, but just as importantly you MUST see her perform. In addition to being stunned by the artistry, a live show will better reveal the humor that underlies many of her songs. For example, on this CD, "Sorry About Jesus" is not only one of the funniest songs I have heard, but is also touching in an odd way. It comes through on the recorded version, but you should see her do it live! I have bought all four of her CD's now, and will buy all the rest as they come out..."
Melodically flat and lyrically pedantic??
R. McDaniel | Los Angeles, CA | 04/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Better vocalist than songwriter indeed... I beg to differ! Okay, so every Susan Werner album has a few "phoned-in" songs... But did the reviewer even listen to "Petaluma Afternoons" or "Courting the Muse?" Melodically flat - maybe a couple of tracks aren't as inspired as the others. But who could listen to the poignantly organic rise and fall of "Sorry About Jesus" and feel anything approaching flat? And I suppose by "lyrically pedantic" he means that her songs contain words your average 13-year-old wouldn't know. How many songs do you know that contain the word "serotonin," after all? But to me this is exactly the sort of thing that makes Susan Werner such an original. She hops elegantly between folk, country, blues, and any number of other genres. But above all, what makes Susan's music shine is the sincerity of it. She doesn't mass-produce slick danceable tunes or schmaltzy tearjerkers - she simply writes from the heart, and this album I think contains some of her most inspired songs. Honestly though, any recording is going to sell Susan short. She's a live performer by nature, meant to be seen in person. Still, this album, of all of hers, is about as close as you can come to that experience thanks to the close-miked intimacy that really captures her expressive voice. If you like folk or "traditional" country/bluegrass, and enjoy compassionate, sincere songwriting, this is well worth buying."
All aboard this 'Train'
William F. Karnoscak | Chicago, Illinois USA | 11/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having been a Susan Werner fan since Spring 1995, (one of those times where you don't know the artist but the disc called out to me: "The Last of the Good Straight Girls," and I bought it sound-unheard) I feel this release best represents Werner's strengths. This is a disc full of songs depicting various emotionally-based passages through life: adolescent discomfort (Sorry about Jesus); leaving home for college (Like Bonsai); relationship dissolution (Bring 'Round the Boat, Can't Let You In); post-relationship dissolution (Time between Trains; Old Mistake). Werner acutely communicates in a universal way, the observations and foibles that speak to anyone who cares to listen or hear. The only mis-step (if you can call it that) is the inclusion of "Vincent," Don McLean's paean to the artist. It's a great song, but it doesn't really grab you the way Werner's originals do. It does, however, display her great taste in cover material. Largely unavailable is her latest disc, "New Non-Fiction (Oct.2001)," but if your awareness about Werner is in the early stages, I highly recommend this disc. The Amazon reviewer emphasizes her vocal skills (with good reason, she trained in operatic vocals before taking this detour), which is true; what he didn't mention was that Werner can sing folk, pop, torch and jazz with equal aplomb. And to her credit, live versions of songs from this and other albums typically do not resemble the studio versions. This can rub folks the wrong way, if they buy Werner's discs based on what they heard live. But I encourage you to relax that response, and in the long run, you will not be dissapointed. Werner is a rare treat to see live, and for that experience, "Live at the Tin Angel" might be a better place to start than "Time Between Trains" if one has a total lack of Susan Werner music in their collection. For the past six years, she has stood the test of time (things still sound fresh on the 100th listen as they did on the 2nd). This is a rare gift indeed."