Black Dub, "Black Dub"

86 Billboard Rating

Daniel Lanois has already had a pretty remarkable year, with high-profile production gigs on albums by Brandon Flowers of the Killers and Neil Young, who titled his latest, "Le Noise," in honor of his partner's crucial creative contribution. (He also has a hardcover memoir out this month for readers thirsty for details regarding his collaborations with such acts as Bob Dylan and U2.) Black Dub, though-where the producer is joined by bassist Daryl Johnson, drummer Brian Blade and singer Trixie Whitley (daughter of the late Chris Whitley)-might be Lanois' most impressive project yet. On its excellent self-titled debut, the Los Angeles-based act offers up an adventurous and deeply funky brand of soul-steeped roots music. As in any Lanois production, the instrumental textures are worth savoring on their own; check out the loping reggae groove during "Nomad" or the shimmering guitar sparkles in opener "Love Lives." Yet Black Dub has real songs, too, none more memorable than "Surely," a gorgeous ballad Whitley sings like some forgotten Motown star.

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