Black You have to love Daniel Lanois for always recording some really cool sounds. Having worked with U2, Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel and a host of others, the world-renowned producer/instrumentalist’s newest venture, Black Dub, is a ten-track album and nod to the Jamaican dub culture of soulful island playing.
Brian Blade’s unusual tom drumming (the dude’s played with Herbie Hancock, Joni Mitchell and Bill Frisell) and Trixie Whitley’s vocalsa Texas/New Orleans-influenced lady) are featured prominently on the record. Though the tunes on Black Dub sound like a Lanois record, the CD bears the mark of all the players though. Witley outfits herself expertly on songs like the upbeat gospel-like “Sing,” the lengthy, but poppy “Silverado” and with her weaving between the other instruments on “Nomad.” We get Lanois scratching his guitar through some feedback on “Sirens” (just a guitar song). The entire band offers up a wonderful groove and New Orleans flavor on “Last Time.”
Though I often hear Lanois and think The Edge (or is that when I hear The Edge I think of Lanois?), there are a few really impressive guitar moments on this album; Lanois’ haunting guitar phrasing (like the work he did on the Sling Blade soundtrack) on “Slow Baby” and “Ring The Alarm” with its great guitar and fantastic drumming, would have benefited more without the vocals.
Black Dub is still an interesting record from some expert players though and worth checking out.