Reviewed by Nick Argyriou.
DANIEL LANOIS – GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE (ANTI/Warner)
It’s goodbye to language and hello to celestial soundscapes as the spacey racket of the Daniel Lanois pedal steel squares off with pal Rocco DeLuca’s lap steel while effects help frame this 36-minute mood piece. Similar in transcendental tone to Lanois’ 2005 record Belladonna and 2014’s Flesh and Machine, attempting to critique Goodbye to Language really is akin to trying to dance about architecture.
A seamless wave of moments drift by, idiosyncratic oaths bobbing up like the definitive cork in the ocean, as a sensory odyssey prevails. Equal parts soporific and stirring, on the surface Lanois and DeLuca sound like they’ve stretched one melody across the album, and to a degree they have, yet it’s the ebb and flow of the euphoric guitars and the battalion of studio trickery utilised on his Radar 24‑track digital machine, homemade preamps and added analogue brushstrokes that resonate most and transport the release into the ether.
Sound drops in and out, vibrato duels with tremolo, DeLuca and Lanois sit opposite one another with tools on laps as the men’s eyes affix in moments of agreement when things click. And they do. Plenty of times.
“I operate under the banner of soul music – music that just feels right and comes from a truthful place,” Lanois is quoted as saying, and it’s an absorbing ride to hear how the masterful musician/producer makes his music talk. Almost genre-less, there’s slight nods to ambient, country, lo-fi synth-rock, soul and more on this ultramodern release that shifts perspectives and even harks back to the classical music from Eastern Europe that Lanois lent his ear to in his youth.