by Daniel LanoisDaniel Lanois


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Because Daniel Lanois collaborated with Brian Eno on Eno's landmark ambient albums in the 1980s -- including the recently reissued Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks and Ambient 4: On Land -- it's tempting to call the all-instrumental Belladonna Lanois's ambient album. Tempting, but misleading, since by definition ambient music fades into the background, disappearing into the ether. Most of Belladonna, on the other hand, flows gently with Lanois's pedal steel guitar gliding through discernable, songlike melodies. A better comparison would be Ry Cooder's classic soundtracks such as Crossroads or Paris, Texas. While occasionally fragmentary ("Dusty") or muted and monochromatic ("Todos Santos"), most of Belladonna's tracks are complete journeys in and of themselves, and an even greater one in sequence. The wavelike "Sketches" begins by contrasting Lanois's heavily reverbed guitar with Brian Blade's crystalline cymbals, but the dreaminess is interrupted by beautiful, cascading piano runs (courtesy of a cameo from jazz great Brad Mehldau). The mariachi horns of "Agave" lead into the slow, deliberate guitar/piano duet of "Telco," which buzzes with distant dissonant effects that contrast with the simple purity of the southwestern melody on "Desert Rose." And so it goes throughout the beautiful Belladonna, an album worthy of one's undivided attention.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/12/2005
Label: Anti
UPC: 0045778676729
catalogNumber: 86767
Rank: 65777

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