David Byrne & Brian Eno

Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

Even though 1981’s My Life in the Bush of Ghosts was the last
time David Byrne and Brian Eno worked together, the duo has remained
close. So much so that a dinner date where Eno mentioned an
accumulation of orphaned instrumental tracks found Byrne volunteering
to provide lyrics. The resulting Everything That Happens Will Happen
Today
avoids taking the dance-rock collage approach of Bush of
Ghosts
. Instead, this newer project is a considerably more sedate
affair that both men insist bears a “folk-electronic-gospel” vibe, more
so in structure than religious viewpoint. The closest Byrne and Eno
come to the funky approach of their last time together is “Poor Boy,”
which bubbles over with spiky horns, percolating rhythms, and tart
guitar riffs.

Eno’s compositions work with lots of space — leaving room for
nuances like the gauzy guitar twang hanging over the ethereal choruses
of “Everything That Happens,” the country music lilt of “My Big Nurse,”
and the stilted trip-hop of “I Feel My Stuff.” Byrne’s outlook ends up
being optimistic without being Pollyannaish. When he’s not crooning
Then a piece of mind — fell over me/In these troubled times
— I still can see
over the dream-pop ambience of “One Fine
Day,” he posits music as the ultimate redemptive force over quirky
beats and Afro-pop phrasing within the pseudo-funk of “Strange
Overtones.” Everything That Happens isn’t as groundbreaking as
earlier Byrne/Eno projects but it nonetheless ends up being a pleasant
exercise for a cache of instrumental outtakes. (Todomundo)

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