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Daniel Lanois|Player, Piano

Player, Piano

Daniel Lanois

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Practically since his first solo release -- 1989's marvelous Acadie -- Daniel Lanois has had the freedom to pursue whatever muse stirs his imagination. His status as an iconic producer remains unrivaled, though it often overshadows a rich personal discography that has been reliably eclectic and occasionally quite moving. After revisiting the singer/songwriter format on 2021's Heavy Sun, Lanois heads back into more ambient territory with Player, Piano, an experimental yet surprisingly poignant collection of piano instrumentals. Better known for his atmospheric guitar work, Lanois takes similar care in his approach to the piano, manipulating and shaping the instrument's natural characteristics in subtle but effective ways. However, rather than building it into something futuristic and nearly unrecognizable like he did on 2016's spectral pedal steel opus Goodbye to Language, he turns back the clock with a deliberately vintage tone that harks back to the 1940s and '50s. Utilizing ribbon mics, dampened strings, and felt-muted hammers, Lanois creates a nostalgic sound to compliment his sparse, ethereal compositions. The stately "My All," an elegy written for his younger brother, opens the album, establishing a sentimental mood that remains throughout the set. Songs like the winsome "Inverness" and "Zsa Zsa" breathe out into the room, as gentle piano voicings interact with understated effects to create something timeless and inviting. When the occasional percussion or synth part does enter the picture, it is generally complimentary or at least unobtrusive, letting the piano fill the most space. Musically, this is one of the most vulnerable collections Lanois has ever made and quite endearing in its sweetness.
© Timothy Monger /TiVo

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Player, Piano

Daniel Lanois

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1
My All
00:02:23

Daniel Lanois, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Piano, MainArtist

© 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to Modern Recordings / BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

2
Lighthouse
00:03:09

Daniel Lanois, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Piano, MainArtist, Beatbox Vocals

© 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to Modern Recordings / BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

3
Inverness
00:02:49

Daniel Lanois, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Piano, MainArtist

© 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to Modern Recordings / BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

4
Parade
00:01:26

Daniel Lanois, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Organ, Piano, Bass, MainArtist - Daryl Johnson, Bass

© 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to Modern Recordings / BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

5
Twilight
00:03:25

Daniel Lanois, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Organ, Piano, MainArtist, Beatbox Vocals

© 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to Modern Recordings / BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

6
Puebla
00:02:05

Daniel Lanois, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Piano, MainArtist

© 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to Modern Recordings / BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

7
Eau
00:02:23

Daniel Lanois, Composer, Producer, Chimes, Engineer, Organ, Piano, MainArtist

© 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to Modern Recordings / BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

8
Zsa Zsa
00:02:54

Daniel Lanois, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Piano, MainArtist - Alex Krispin, Engineer

© 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to Modern Recordings / BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

9
Clinch
00:02:57

Christopher Thorn, Drums - Daniel Lanois, Composer, Producer, Drums, Engineer, Percussion, Piano, MainArtist

© 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to Modern Recordings / BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

10
Sweet Imagination
00:01:37

Daniel Lanois, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Piano, MainArtist

© 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to Modern Recordings / BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

11
Wild Child
00:02:20

Daniel Lanois, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Piano, Mellotron, MainArtist

© 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to Modern Recordings / BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

12
Cascade
00:03:40

Daniel Lanois, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Piano, MainArtist

© 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to Modern Recordings / BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

13
Sunday Asylum
00:03:01

Daniel Lanois, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Piano, MainArtist

© 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to Modern Recordings / BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2022 422190 Ontario Inc. under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Album review

Practically since his first solo release -- 1989's marvelous Acadie -- Daniel Lanois has had the freedom to pursue whatever muse stirs his imagination. His status as an iconic producer remains unrivaled, though it often overshadows a rich personal discography that has been reliably eclectic and occasionally quite moving. After revisiting the singer/songwriter format on 2021's Heavy Sun, Lanois heads back into more ambient territory with Player, Piano, an experimental yet surprisingly poignant collection of piano instrumentals. Better known for his atmospheric guitar work, Lanois takes similar care in his approach to the piano, manipulating and shaping the instrument's natural characteristics in subtle but effective ways. However, rather than building it into something futuristic and nearly unrecognizable like he did on 2016's spectral pedal steel opus Goodbye to Language, he turns back the clock with a deliberately vintage tone that harks back to the 1940s and '50s. Utilizing ribbon mics, dampened strings, and felt-muted hammers, Lanois creates a nostalgic sound to compliment his sparse, ethereal compositions. The stately "My All," an elegy written for his younger brother, opens the album, establishing a sentimental mood that remains throughout the set. Songs like the winsome "Inverness" and "Zsa Zsa" breathe out into the room, as gentle piano voicings interact with understated effects to create something timeless and inviting. When the occasional percussion or synth part does enter the picture, it is generally complimentary or at least unobtrusive, letting the piano fill the most space. Musically, this is one of the most vulnerable collections Lanois has ever made and quite endearing in its sweetness.
© Timothy Monger /TiVo

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