Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, Apr 28th, 2021

Daniel Lanois: Heavy Sun 

Daniel Lanois
Heavy Sun
(Ent. One Music)

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Producing the likes of U2, Bob Dylan, and Peter Gabriel (to name but a few), creating way-out ambient music with Brian Eno, scoring Oscar-winning films and video games, and pushing out his own solo albums, Daniel Lanois is a musician, studio ‘guru,’ and subtle, yet strong force in modern music making. Heavy Sun is the latest of what he’s made.

From the organ-led opener “Dance On,” the full-on take-me-to-church “Tumbling Stone,” to the rest of the inspirational messages we get across these eleven tunes, it’s mostly gospel mixed with modern day drum machines and echo guitar that we get here. Johnny Sheperd’s prevalent organ, the gospel choruses, and Jim Wilson’s bass, roll under the various different lead vocalists (Lanois is smart enough to know his limited voice alone will not carry the day). And when Lanois bubbles forth his distinctive guitar noodling, he does so as subtly as he leads the full gumbo of this concoction.

He’s most effective here I feel with tunes “Way Down,” a beautiful lament that showcases Lanois first real leading and the upbeat “Tree of Tule.”

Heavy Sun will not be to everyone’s liking to be sure. It is heavy on the gospel and thick in places where the sound probably didn’t need to always be. But this is great stuff, rendered by a modern master. Daniel Lanois is certainly the real deal.

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Daniel Lanois: Heavy Sun