Review Snapshot:Here Is What Is is a weak record by acclaimed producer Daniel Lanois. Failed attempts at being 'artsy' and an overly long running time make this a wearisome listen.
The Cluas Verdict?5 out of 10
Daniel Lanois made his name producing for big name artists over the last few decades. He has worked with Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Emmylou Harris and U2 to name but a few. ‘Here Is What Is’ is the fifth studio album from the Canadian.
The record opens with just the voice of Brian Eno describing a chest of drawers he once bought. It is one of a few tracks that are simply conversation. The only interesting one of these tracks is ‘Beauty’ where the origin of beauty and the marvel of how it originates from nothingness is discussed. This beauty he speaks of however, he fails to create himself.
That said, the album does open well, with the first few tracks catching my interest. Forgetting about the spoken word opener, the first song is a cover of Emmylou Harris’ ‘Where Will I Be’. It would be an understatement to say that he does the song justice. His soft voice helps creates a pleasurable and more subtle sound for the song he produced for Harris on ‘Wrecking Ball’.
Interests wanes early on though. It is overly repetitive, centring on the Lanois’ favourite instrument: the steel pedal guitar, and at an arduous 64 minutes long with unadventurous instrumentals taking up far too much of that time.
He may be described as the man with the Midas touch when it comes to producing albums, but as a solo artist he does not hold a candle to the names he has worked with.
2003 - Witnness 2003, a comprehensive review by Brian Kelly of the 2 days of what transpired to be the last ever Witnness festival (in 2004 it was rebranded as Oxegen when Heineken stepped into the sponsor shoes).