Lanois is best known as a record producer. He began his career in a basement studio in his native Canada, working on small projects until he began collaborating with producer Brian Eno. Lanois became Eno's protege, which eventually led to his producing Peter Gabriel's So and U2's The Joshua Tree. After that, Lanois became one of the most sought after producers in the business. His sound is characterized by the use of odd instrumentation, analog recording equipment, and a tendency to place the mood of a song above playing it perfectly. The best examples of his production aesthetic can be found on three of the most critically acclaimed records of the '90s: Chris Whitley's debut Living With the Law, Emmylou Harris's Wrecking Ball and Bob Dylan's Time Out of Mind. As an artist Lanois writes subdued, somewhat oblique but very melodic songs that are grounded in his own off-kilter vision of what folk music is. He has a deep interest in his French Canadian roots and often sings in French.