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4.7 out of 5 stars
Shine
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Showing 1-10 of 27 reviews (5 star)show all reviews
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2003
Format: Audio CD
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.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
This is a great man, more than "just" a great producer or a great musician. As much as this album can stand by itself and make (as it has, so far) a great impression on those who are fortunate to listen to it, it also shows a lot more about Canadian-born Daniel Lanois, the man behind some of the world's most talented artists of the past two decades!
This album shows without doubt how selfless he has been, pouring his musical spirit into the productions he's touched, rather than keeping to himself brilliant musical ideas or developments. For example, he'd invite over Emmylou Harris or Bono for the two opening tracks (track 2, actually co-written by the leader of U2), and just show you where did their sound come from, where were the fantastic atmospheres that you discovered in their respective albums born. You don't come out feeling like he kept anything to himself, and a good proof of that is his very spaced discography with a minimal four solo albums in the course of his career, and another great one in collaboration with Brian Eno and Michael Brook.
The songs speak for themselves... they jump subtly between ambient, acoustic rock and country/blues at times, with a voice whose timbre brings back memories of recent Eric Clapton. Without an obsession for virtuosity and with great attention to subtle details, each track comes out victorious as a great work of art, giving you more than just a comforting feeling when you're done listening to 'Shine' -you know you are in front of a great man. If you're unsure of it at this point, consider for a moment the liner note he signs in the album:
"What a privilege to be able to make music. And what an honour to have it received and appreciated.
Here is a small portion of what's cooking in the kitchen. I hope that some piece of it will elevate your spirit.
May we all touch a heart somewhere, sometime."
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2003
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I Waited patiently for this one - almost a year per track! (but well worth the wait) What is it about Daniel Lanois' vastly underrated sound?
I enjoy many of styles of music from Aswad to Xymox but can never quite put my finger on what makes this guy tick.
Working with banks of "antique" studio equipment Daniel Lanois is able to fashion the most incredibly full sound, incredible because it's so subtle - a few sparse notes can be enough, with his unique production techniques to say all he needs.
If you're reading this, chances are you already know his two prior solo albums "Acadie" and "The Beauty Of Wynona" - this will not disappoint and follows along as a crystallization of what has gone before. If not, I can't recommend any of his albums enough - get them while you can they are not that easy to find and don't appear too often, you can start anywhere with Daniel.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Two words: Brilliant album. Such great texture and warm sounds. His best work to date. I have listened to it more times than anything else I have, and it is always revealing something new to me. Fire is probably my favorite song, and Power of One. Brilliant lyrics that come from years of observant life experience. A true artist. I am a sound engineer by trade and a musician for fun, and this album really struck a chord with me because of how well it is engineered and arranged.
I saw him twice on the Shine tour, once in Ann Arbor and then a few days later in Chicago. Beautiful live show, worth 8 hours on the road! I got to talk with him for a while and he is a very nice, down to earth man who deserves every bit of success he has earned for himself. Brian Blade was with him for both shows. Blade is a stellar drummer, also a very nice man to talk with. Some shows of his are better than others, I will say that, but very emotionally powerful and well-presented, but VERY different than the album. This is probably because of the cost of a large band and the lack of intimacy.
ANYONE would like this album to some extent, and any musician or artist would embrace it quite quickly.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2003
Format: Audio CD
With "Shine" Daniel Lanois shows us, once again, why he has attained god-like status within the music industry. "Shine" is a recording that makes me want more. How ironic, considering Lanois' whole approach to music is to provide less.
If you have followed Lanois' career you are aware of his addiction to collecting classic recording gear. The gear alone is only part of the story though. With all the gear he owns it would be easy for him to make records that sound "classic" (read, ordinary). But Lanois' recordings are never ordinary. He is a producer that has a defined and recognized style. That is far from ordinary these days.
How does he do this? First, let's look at his approach as a musician. He plays sparsely. He is a master of using the space around notes to create an open, ethereal soundscape. Second, let's look at his approach as a producer. Again, he is a master at playing the instrument at hand (made up of the room, the gear, and yes,even the musician) in a way that evokes a clear image in he listener's mind. Third, let's look at his approach to photography. His photographs define not only space, but also offer a sense of time. In his photographs he takes an image and presents it to you in a clearly defined way. With his music it is up to you to comger up the image of space and time.
"Shine" also proves that Lanois remains true to his vision. It is a recording that presents sonics very similar to his earlier recordings, yet it manages to sound fresh and alive. Considering it's been 10 years since his last disc, that is quite an accomplishment.
Like most people, I don't buy as much music now as I once did. Not because I download music from the 'net; I don't. There just isn't that much new music out there that I would want to own. If there were more artists like Mr. Lanois producing art I would do my part, once again, in keeping the record companies alive.
"Shine" deserves to be heard, and owned. Have a listen. Buy it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is possibly the most beautiful, intimate album I have ever heard. A must-buy for anyone who believes music can transcend everyday life and point us to something greater.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2003
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
This is typical Lanois, if you can call anything by Daniel typical. I think you have to listen to this CD in a quiet place and let it wash over you. The songs are outstanding and the delivery perfect. I discovered him years ago and have been captivated ever since. You must really pay heed to the words.
Anyone who hasn't heard his performances before are in for a rare treat. Hope you enjoy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
This is without a doubt one of the best records I've ever heard. Great music touches the soul. Shine delivers on every track. This is definitely a record that will rarely go unplayed in my collection. I wished I could find a record of this depth and compassion everytime I stepped into a record store. Lanois is absolutely brilliant in every role he plays. His commitment to music is second to none. If you have the rare opportunity to see him live with Brian Blade you won't regret a single minute. There very few performers that can touch the audience with their music; Lanois and Blade deliver everytime.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The album builds from an experience of worship and a celebration of life and on and on through a great collection of songs all the while sounding like a 'live set'. Some of it seems a bit detached but at the same time is very intimate in emotion. With a voice like a strained but melodic whisper Daniel Lanois is easy on the ears. The steel guitar is very cool as it bends around the vocals on songs like 'Shine'. 'San Juan' is one of the best laid-back acoustic songs I've heard in a long time. 'Fire' is a great love song. 'Power of One' with the reggae beat is just fantastic.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Best album of 2003. Romantic, tender, the work of an absolute artist. Every song is actually a painting. You aren't just listening to a song on this album, you are actually being touched by someone elses heart.
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