ROOTS

Here is What Is Daniel Lanois Red Floor/ Shock

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music -

DANIEL Lanois is best known as a pro­ducer whose cred­its in­clude U2, Peter Gabriel, Em­my­lou Har­ris, Wil­lie Nelson and a cou­ple of His Bob­ness’s most re­demp­tive al­bums. Small won­der, then, that two of the best tracks on this album ( Where Will I Be and Not Fight­ing Any­more ) sound de­cid­edly Dy­lanesque. Here is What Is is es­sen­tially the sound­track to a doc­u­men­tary that ex­plores the Cana­dian muso’s dis­tinc­tive mu­sic- mak­ing skills. It fea­tures snip­pets from a con­ver­sa­tion with Brian Eno, in­clud­ing his pro­found pro­nounce­ment: ‘‘ What would be re­ally in­ter­est­ing for peo­ple to see is how beau­ti­ful things grow out of shit.’’ The scat­o­log­i­cal ref­er­ence is to noth­ing­ness rather than ex­cre­ment and sev­eral tracks on the album bear out this phi­los­o­phy. It is a trib­ute to Lanois’s judg­ment that none of the ex­tended so­los, on a variety of in­stru­ments, out­stay their wel­come. And by the time you reach the folk­bluesy This May Be the Last Time , you find your­self hop­ing against hope that the in­her­ent threat turns out to be mere blus­ter.

Mahir Ali

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