Archive for Talking Heads

Byrne and Eno’s “Everything That Happens Will Happen Today” Is A Remembrance of Things Past

Posted in Music with tags , , , , on October 12, 2008 by johnbuckley100

When David Byrne and Brain Eno last collaborated, there were no Pro Tools, no digital recording, no Internet to email files back and forth across the cyberpond that separates New York from London.  This ghost of an album in this late age of Bushes bears little resemblance to their last outing,  My Life In The Bush of Ghosts.  That one was a really interesting meld of Byrne’s musicianship, Eno’s studio genius, and found sound snippets, from a pentecostal preacher (“Help Me Somebody”) to an Egyptian folk singer (“Regiment”.)  It was the beginning of the ’80s and both Byrne and Eno were in prime form, as the Talking Heads reached their critical and artistic peak and Eno was about to embark on his collaboration with U2.

It’s not that the years haven’t kind to them both.  Byrne’s resisted the reformation of the Talking Heads and, for more than 20 years, continued an interesting, if suboptimal solo career.  Eno’s never lost relevance, and his published diary from a few years back (A Year (with Swollen Appendages)) showcased a life as peripatetic as a character in, well, an Eno song.  But still.  Byrne’s albums made you miss the Talking Heads.  Eno’s collaboration with John Cale tilted heavily in the latter’s favor, and his recent solo album produced one song, “This,” that was worthy of his ’70s masterpieces.  In fact, one could be forgiven thinking the best Eno song since Before and After Science was Robert Wyatt’s “Heaps of Sheeps.”  No matter how wealthy, or fulfilled, each of these multitasking brainiacs may be, as solo rock musicians, each of these guys could use a comeback album.

And they utterly pull it off.  The best way of describing Everything That Happens Will Happen Today is that it’s a great Talking Heads album in which Byrne and Eno have cut out Jerry and the Tom Tom Club. Melodic and sweet, like an Eno album, jaggedy shards and glee club choruses, the hallmarks of past work by each. All songs sung by Byrne, gloriously produced, of course, and utterly contemporary.  30-year old lightning caught in a Smart Water bottle.   It makes rumors of that Roxy Music reunion, with Eno collaborating with Bryan Ferry, all the more enticing.

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