Most helpful positive review
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2003
It's hard to overestimate the importance of Daniel Lanois to contemporary music. As producer for U2 (they owe their career to him), Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Robbie Robertson, Emmylou Harris, the Neville Brothers, and Bob Dylan, to name a few, Lanois has built a body of work beyond compare. I've become a fan of some artists purely for what he brought to them. What's surprising is that his output as a solo performer is just as rewarding. His previous releases, "Acadie" and "For The Beauty of Wynona", are little-known classics, and "Shine" is at least their equal. Lanois' talent is for creating extraordinarily rich musical "spaces" from the sparest of arrangements. From the opening minute of the first track, "I Love You", he subjects conventional instruments to unusual treatments to create a soundscape which is, paradoxically, dense, bleak, dark and yet completely open and inviting - especially when his endearingly imperfect voice crackles through. Matching his peerless skills for production and arrangement are a strong lyrical sensibility and a perfect instinct for economy: Lanois knows precisely when to end a song. Buy this album, buy his other two. Then go look up everything he's produced. Don't be surprised if you discover that Daniel Lanois is responsible for half the music you love.
Update, February 2005: It's getting close to 2 years since I bought this album, and it's hardly been out of my 5-disc changer for a day in all that time. It's one of the most beautiful, rewarding and endlessly interesting albums I own. Buy it now.