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When Brian Eno recorded his landmark ambient releases of the 1980's and '90's, he transformed our perception of space, music, and performance. His collaborator on those albums, and on his subsequent ground-breaking production work with U2, was Daniel Lanois. Lanois took the techniques he developed with Eno and went on to produce career albums for Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, and Emmylou Harris, earning him Rolling Stone's accolade as 'the most important record producer to emerge in the '80s.' Now the journey comes full circle, with Lanois' new release Belladonna, an instrumental record that captures the often tense emotional dynamics of Eno's pioneering albums. Anchored by Lanois' emotive pedal-steel guitar playing, the album also features powerful contributions from master pianist Brad Mehldau and drummer Brian Blade. Dense textures evolve into delicate Mexican melodies, capturing the disquieting serenity of the landscapes of the American southwest. 13 tracks. Anti/Epitaph. 2005.
For years, Daniel Lanois has been producing lush soundscapes for his own projects as well as those he's produced. From U2's The Unforgettable Fire to Emmylou Harris's Wrecking Ball, Lanois's distinct floating-in-the-clouds sound is instantly recognizable to even the most casual listener. Direct comparisons to master producer Brian Eno are not just obvious, they are inevitable; Lanois admits to being Eno's apprentice through the ambient master's instrumental projects in the '80s and '90s. After making a few singer/songwriter discs, Lanois says he decided to go fully instrumental on Belladonna to allow all listeners to "use their imagination and build their own scenario" rather than having the story handed to them. In that, he has succeeded. The focus here is unquestionably on the music--long, languid compositions built largely around pedal steel guitar. Unlike Lanois's previous discs, which included guest performers from Emmylou Harris to Willie Nelson to Bono, no famous friends appear here. Instead, much like the Sling Blade soundtrack (which Lanois penned), this disc remains a dreamy collection best suited to yoga, candlelit baths, and other moments of dusk fading to darkness. --Denise Sheppard
|1. Two Worlds|
|6. Desert Rose|
|8. The Deadly Nightshade|
|12. Flametop Green|
|13. Todos Santos|
Beautifully understated instrumental record.
A more somber affair than I was expecting, given that I became interested in Daniel Lanois after hearing Sonho Dourado from the... Read more
I've read some very nasty reviews about Belladonna. Sometimes a person's unhappiness with life comes out in their reviews, which isn't a reflection of what they are reviewing. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Dean Krause
Tender and beautiful.
Minimalistic and equilibristic.
The top 10,000s exist.
You never know three notes forward.
Because you can never know anything.
i am so happy! Great!! the cd's are perfect!! perfect shape, perfect sound yeh!!! i will order again from this site!Published on October 29, 2012 by Amazon Customer
I heard a couple of tracks on hearts of space. If you like ambient music, this is a good one to add to the collection.Published on December 15, 2011 by Alan
so rich, so dense, daniel lanois brings together a great crew of musicians to create a many-textured masterpiece. Read morePublished on June 8, 2007 by Sarah C. Lovdal
I never write reviews for anything, but this one was so bad, I couldn't help myself. Everybody has different tastes, but if you like music with any kind of structure or melody at... Read morePublished on December 28, 2006 by D. W. Frank
"Belladonna" is Daniel Lanois' most coherent album to date. The focus is on that glorious pedal steel he plays like no one else and a dreamscape inspired by time in Mexico. Read morePublished on January 17, 2006 by Marie Jost