"How to navigate, how to simply be/To know when to wait, explain simplicity/In whom shall I trust/And how might I be still/Teach me to surrender/Not my will, Thy will"
— from "Falling at Your Feet"
You may never have heard his name (the last name's French, pronounced "lan–WAH"), but Daniel Lanois was, according to Rolling Stone magazine, the "most important record producer to emerge in the '80s." Lanois helmed several of the most seminal pop/rock recordings in the last 20 years–such as U2's Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby, Peter Gabriel's So and Us, and Bob Dylan's Time Out of Mind.
You also may not know that Lanois has released three critically acclaimed solo albums of his own since 1989, including his new release Shine. And chances are you may not know that Daniel was, like his pal Bono of U2, raised a French Catholic—all three of his solo albums include strong examples of his beliefs. Is it a coincidence that this famed producer works almost exclusively with such spiritually minded artists?
Shine is an interesting collage of sound, drawing upon folk, pop, jazz, country, and reggae influences. All of it ties together with the ethereal sounds common to Daniel's work, though the rootsy elements seem stronger now than ever before. Imagine Christian band Lost Dogs or the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack crossed with Peter Gabriel, or Blind Boys of Alabama, and you're on the right track. Half the cuts on Shine are instrumental, carried by Daniel's newfound love for pedal steel guitar. The other half features his vocals, which resemble Eric Clapton at his most tender (i.e. "Tears in Heaven" or "Wonderful Tonight").
The album's first single, "Falling at Your Feet," a duet with Bono, was originally included ...1