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David Byrne - David Byrne & Brian Eno: Everything That Happens Will Happen Today CD (album) cover


David Byrne


Crossover Prog

2.57 | 16 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Pay strict attention to the order of names above the title. Unlike "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts" this isn't an album from Brian Eno and David Byrne: it's an album instead by David Byrne and Brian Eno, a subtle distinction providing a clue to the style of music inside.

To its credit the new album doesn't pretend to be a belated sequel to the groundbreaking found music of their 1981 collaboration. It's more of a vehicle for Eno's tentative rediscovery of the pop-rock side of his personality he so rarely exposes anymore, filtered through the quirky post-New Wave, World Music sensibilities of Byrne.

Eno supposedly wrote all the music independently, with Byrne enlisted much later to add lyrics and vocals. As such the album often resembles an ill-fitted Frankenstein hybrid, forcing the cadence of Byrne's singing onto Eno's pre-existing instrumental tracks (it might have been interesting to hear the undoctored music without any words, perhaps as alternate bonus mixes).

At heart the music itself was never too unconventional, but it's all been dressed up in post- production to sound artfully offbeat, with the unorthodox assembly (the two never shared any studio time together, working strictly via e-mail instead) giving each song an attractive, lopsided charm. According to Byrne the aim was to find a modern electronic folk/gospel vibe, which would explain the occasional loping cowboy tempo, recalling such easygoing early Eno classics like "Here He Comes" and "On Some Faraway Beach".

But in the end the finished product is closer to Talking Heads than to "Here Come the Warm Jets", and the empty suburban images in the CD booklet likewise echo the idiosyncrasies of Byrne more than Eno. Fans of each artist should approach it accordingly.

Look for some familiar names (Phil Manzanera, Robert Wyatt) in small supporting roles.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |


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