Paul Simon has revisited his 1990 album cut “Can’t Run But,” adding a jittery sense of urgency to the track with help from the instrumental ensemble yMusic. The song will appear on Simon’s upcoming album In the Blue Light, due out September 7th.
“Can’t Run But” originally came out on The Rhythm of the Saints. That version was filled with bursts of polyrhythmic drumming from Brazilian percussionists Mingo Araújo and Naná Vasconcelos and languid guitar from J.J. Cale.
Simon dispenses with the loose funk and rebuilds the song from the ground up for In the Blue Light. A string section shivers and darts, refusing to settle into a steady pattern; the slightly frantic energy serves Simon well as he promises, “I can’t run, but I can walk much faster than this.” The unpredictable arrangement comes from the National’s Bryce Dessner.
In the Blue Light “consists of songs that I thought were almost right, or were odd enough to be overlooked the first time around,” according to a statement from Simon. “Re-doing arrangements, harmonic structures, and lyrics that didn’t make their meaning clear, gave me time to clarify in my own head what I wanted to say, or realize what I was thinking and make it more easily understood.”
“It’s an unusual occurrence for an artist to have the opportunity to revisit earlier works and re-think them; to modify, even completely change parts of the originals,” he added.