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Book Review: Daniel Lanois

Soul Mining

Daniel Lanois - Soul MiningTwo-thirds of the way into his memoir, Daniel Lanois describes his approach in recording Bob Dylan’s album Time Out of Mind: “I wanted the shadows to hold hidden secrets, for the details to pique the curiosity of a viewer … I wanted the sunlight in the portrait to outlive us all, and be blazing with premonition, hope and redemption.”

This strategy can imbue music with a visionary depth — as it did for Dylan — but it’s trickier to apply to an autobiography, whose point is to satisfy the curiosity that an artist’s work has already piqued. In Soul Mining, Lanois paints scenes ranging from his childhood in rural Quebec and steel-town Ontario in the ’50s and ’60s to recording U2 in Dublin in the ’80s to working with Neil Young in California last year; throughout, he accentuates the positive and mentions episodes of darkness that he never fleshes out. As a result, Soul Mining is both enlightening and frustrating.

— Story continues at The National Post

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