Daniel Lanois Here Is What Is

Those who have already seen the documentary Here Is What Is will be familiar with much of this material, a loose compendium of tracks that serve almost as a guidebook to the Lanois method — that swirling, mysterious sound that has come to be regarded as one of the most influential production styles of the past 30 years. It has also partly overshadowed Lanois’s other gifts as a songwriter and musician, and while Here Is What Is can’t be regarded as a cohesive collection in comparison to much of his previous work, as was Lanois’s intention, there are plenty of moments that reveal much more beauty on record than they do on film. Among them is the new version of "Where Will I Be,” previously on the Emmylou Harris collaboration Wrecking Ball, as well as a host of pedal steel instrumentals that have been Lanois’s chief obsession in recent years. Add to that an incredible solo piano improvisation ("Lovechild”) from the Band’s Garth Hudson and Here Is What Is becomes a sonic feast that will keep any Lanois fan completely engrossed, even without the benefit of visuals. (Red Floor)