Album review | AMBIENT

Daniel Lanois, ‘Flesh and Machine’

Daniel Lanois has produced or coproduced albums for U2, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, and others. His solo albums can veer into ambient insularity, and this one fits that mold. It’s a mostly instrumental pastiche of electric guitars, drums, and vintage Omnichord synth (the one he used on Brian Eno’s 1983 “Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks”) twisted into samples that are fed back into the sound with erratic effect. The songs are mostly short (only two of the 11 exceed four minutes), dense, and impenetrable. The opening “Rocco” has an angelic beauty, and “Aquatic” rides meditative guitar, but the album dips into herky-jerky nowhere land with “Opera,” which speeds up with a confused, needless mania; the squealing “The End” seems like a tribute to parts of Pink Floyd’s “Umagumma,” but falls short. “Flesh and Machine” offers flashes of sonic enjoyment but is mainly for hardcore fans; Lanois needs to get out of his studio more and breathe some fresh air. (Out now)


Essential “Aquatic”

Lanois plays Brighton Music Hall on Nov. 22.