The Vermont Cynic

Two giants making it all happen again


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Brian Eno & David Byrne

Everything that Happens will Happen Today

4 Stars

The 60-year-old Father of Ambient Music Brian Eno has released his 40th musical masterpiece and his second collaborative album with David Byrne, the former lead man of Talking Heads in “Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.”

Not since 1981, with the release of “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts” has this strangely complementary duo collaborated, and in August 2008 they arrived with an album that sets itself apart from their former adventures into the soundscape.

This album has quite a range, exemplified in the strong and soulful first track, “Home,” which features a beautiful acoustic electronic pairing overlapped with David Byrne’s quintessentially Talking Heads yowl – the result is a heavily world-music influenced electronic gospel.

Continuing on, “Everything That Happens” brings a simplistic wandering electric guitar track that features some minimalist keyboard, which is exactly the kind of track that distinguishes this album from their former pairing on “Bush of Ghosts.”

This time, the pair has opted for a less deeply electronic and intense album than the first and has gone in a more traditional rock direction; in fact it reflects the world of Talking Heads more closely than anything Byrne has done in years.

With Byrne assigned the task of writing and singing the lyrics and Eno with composing the music around them, the result is a much more satisfying build-up of gloomy optimism that surrounds the uncomplicated and simply delivered lyrics than Byrne would have done on his own.

Eno’s musical prowess shines through in his artfully composed musical meanderings behind Byrne, especially in songs like “I Feel My Stuff,” in which he combines seemingly disparate soft piano trills, honking horns and swooning drums that come together in a very pleasant cacophony.

Overall, the album has a heavy world and gospel influence, which brings the pair in an interesting new direction, but former fans may long for the days of infectious electronic bass and eerie vocal samples.

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The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883
Two giants making it all happen again