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Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

3.8 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

David Byrne and Brian Eno have paired up for their first record together as co-writers since the highly influential and critically acclaimed 1981 release My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Everything That Happens Will Happen Today is the culmination of a year s worth of writing, recording, and travel
between New York and London.
Everything That Happens... was conceptualized during a visit to Brian Eno s studio after the two reconnected
upon Nonesuch Records re-release of Bush of Ghosts. Byrne explains, ''I recall Brian mentioning that he
had a lot of largely instrumental tracks he d accumulated, and since, in his words, he hates writing words,
I suggested I have a go at writing some words, and tunes over a few of them, and we see what happens.''
Thus the two began exchanging vocal and instrumental tracks, and the transatlantic collaboration began.
Everything That Happens...features Byrne s lyrics and voice alongside Eno s various electronic tracks.
''When we started this work, we started to think we were making something like electronic gospel: a music where singing was the central event, but whose sonic landscapes were not the type normally associated
with that way of singing,'' says Eno. ''This thought tapped into my long love affair with gospel music, which,
curiously, was inadvertently initiated by David and the Talking Heads.''


David Byrne and Brian Eno retreated to pop's periphery years ago, but their influence is suddenly front and center. There are echoes of Byrne's old band, Talking Heads, in the avant-funk of LCD Soundsystem and other dance-rock bands, and you can hear the singer's workaday hysteria in the cadences of Arcade Fire's Win Butler and Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock. Coldplay sought producer Eno to help them make Viva la Vida, a record that recalls another album with Eno's mark, U2's The Joshua Tree. You can also hear Byrne and Eno's world-music fusions reflected in polyglot indie bands like Vampire Weekend.
With their new album, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, the pair rejoin the rock conversation as if they'd never left. The last record Byrne and Eno made together was the groundbreaking 1981 dance-rock tape collage project, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, but the duo go back further Everything recalls the three Talking Heads records that Eno produced, played on and/or wrote: 1978's More Songs About Buildings and Food, 1979's Fear of Music and 1980's Remain in Light. For those records, Eno was essentially a band member, bringing a darker, more layered and atmospheric sound to the group.
Everything sounds more like a Heads record than anything Byrne's done since the band split in 1991. A radiantly tuneful set made with sidemen, from agile, young polymath drummer Seb Rochford to Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera, the album often evokes sublime, slow-to-midtempo Heads songs like ''Heaven'' and ''This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody),'' as well as dreamy Eno songs like ''St. Elmo's Fire'' and ''I'll Come Running.'' The album was created with a fairly strict division of labor. Byrne wrote the words and sang lead. And Eno made the music, bringing an effervescent sonic gloom that adds some mystery and tension to Byrne's plainspoken lyrics qualities missing from much of Byrne's solo work. ''Poor Boy,'' for instance, sounds like a Bush of Ghosts outtake, all percolating bass bubbles, clattering percussion and spooky vocal samples. Byrne's words set a scene that would have appeared innocuous in 1981 but feels oddly menacing in 2008: ''A truck parked this morning outside the grocery store.''
Byrne has described the music as ''folk electronic gospel,'' openly wondering at the songs' uplifting tone. And Eno has credited his ongoing interest in gospel to hearing ''Surrender to His Will,'' by Reverend Maceo Woods and the Christian Tabernacle Choir, way back when he was working with Talking Heads on More Songs About Buildings and Food. But this is a secular, practical sort of gospel. The opener, ''Home,'' finds the singer longing for a nest, even if it's one with ''neighbors fighting'' and ''cameras watching.'' Beautifully harmonized by both men over a vigorous acoustic-guitar strum with a soaring Joshua Tree-style solo, it finds beauty and fleeting peace in spite of the ugliness. On ''Everything That Happens,'' Byrne coos over a morphine-drip soundscape about riding ''on a perfect freeway'' and savoring ''the sound of someone laughing,'' when suddenly he sees a car explode. ''Strange Overtones'' is wistful dance-floor nostalgia, with a groove that recalls George McCrae's 1974 hit ''Rock Your Baby.'' ''My Big Nurse'' is a gentle country tune with a narrator who's obsessed with dancing ''on this lazy afternoon'' amid fellow humans who are ''in love with war.''
Ultimately, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today is about how music heals even if it can't cure. On ''The River,'' amid clapboard-church vocal harmonies, Byrne declares, ''A change is gonna come/Like Sam Cooke sang in '63.'' Maybe it will. But what seems important here is the collective hope for it, channeled in song by a couple of old visionaries whose music should continue to inspire young bands and the rest of us. --Rolling Stone

''While Everything is firmly grounded in Eno and Byrne's previous work, their mutual commitment to musical exploration ensures the album rarely sounds like something we've heard before.'' --Billboard
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 25, 2008)
  • limited_edition edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Todomundo
  • ASIN: B001FWRZ1O
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,544 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When David Byrne was the keynote speaker at Austin's South By Southwest Conference a couple of years ago, he did a presentation called "Record Companies, who needs them?". The point of his presentation was that this age of rampant digital file sharing presents challenges and opportunities for artists to reinvent the way they release their music, and record companies better figure out a different business model, or get left in the digital dust.

Well, as the saying goes, Mr. Byrne put his money where his mouth was, and released "Everything" digitally on his own imprint.

It's been phenomenally successful. As he predicted in his keynote address, he and Brian Eno have been putting about 80%, instead of 12 or 15% of the profits in their own pockets.

Byrne embarked on his current tour in support of the album a couple of weeks after its release. In doing so, he followed the second prong of his keynote address: After releasing the record, start making the big money on the road. Aside from undoubtedly being very lucrative, the tour has gotten nearly universal positive acclaim by critics and fans alike. I've seen two of the shows so far, and currently have tickets to a third show, if that tells you anything.

Now to the record itself. So much has been written on websites all over the internets since its digital release, that it's almost superfluous to do a review, but here it goes:

As the story goes, Eno had the basic tracks, sent them by email to Byrne, whose task was to add melodies and lyrics.
Read more ›
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David Byrne. Brian Eno. Together again. 'Strange Overtones' may be the best single of the year, period. It does sound like a mishmash of leftover 90's samples, but that's because it's what it is. It even references that fact in it's own lyrics. "This groove is out of fashion/These beats are 20 years old." Still, it's incredibly catchy, charming, poppy and intelligent and against all odds, sounds very fresh.

Everyone digs Byrne and the Talking Heads, but I never counted myself as a huge fan of his music, more of a fan of his label Luaka Bop. My vanilla attitude made this record that much sweeter in that it blindsided me. The album has lots of bizarre blips and pops, weird pacing, abstract lyrics... the whole thing is very unconventional, and in this time of everyone you've ever met releasing an album online, it's very strange to find something unique. Sure, it's got hints of Byrne, hints of Eno, some XTC, TLC, FYC, a heavy (intentional) dose of modern gospel, even some Michael Jackson-ish beats... but it's greater than the sum of its parts. It's difficult to describe what you're going to hear here, but it's almost impossible to listen to the album without a smile on your face.

And I love all the artwork. The cover. The liner notes. Reminds me of The Sims meets Sunny Day Real Estate's 'Diary'. Mundane and exciting at the same time.
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Format: Audio CD
Brian Eno has a long history of assisting and inspiring other artists to create some of their greatest works (U2, Coldplay, David Bowie, James, Paul Simon, John Cale, and, of course, The Talking Heads, all spring to mind), and his collaboration with David Byrne on EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS WILL HAPPEN TODAY is no exception.

In many ways, this is the freshest sounding and most directly impacting album of David Byrne's exceptional (and exceptionally overlooked) solo career. Eno describes his musical arrangements here as simple but inviting, and this is the perfect way to put it. The music is also lush, clever, and intoxicating, and it clearly inspired Byrne to deliver some of his most soulful and appealing performances ever.

Having heard the record a half-dozen times already (and having seen a show from the celebrated concert tour), I can safely say that I consider at least 8 out of the 11 songs a perfect 5 out of 5 stars. Only the last couple songs seem to lose some steam, although they are only pale in comparison to the great tracks preceding them.

I suggest checking out the song, "Strange Overtones" (which, according to another reviewer, is available free here on Amazon), one of the major stand-outs from the album. DB opens his concerts with this song, and it's the perfect way to introduce new listeners to the distinctive soundscape of ETHWHT.

Anyways, I was pretty annoyed and disappointed to see the tangle of rotten reviews for this record, and I have to wonder why such a great artist as David Byrne attracts so many embittered spammers. This isn't to say that every bad review is a spam, but most of the bad reviews here struck me as uninformed and truly uninspired nonsense. But you can be the judge about that, I guess.

Check this album out - it's one of my favorites from '08, and probably David Byrne's (and Brian Eno's) best yet.
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I bought "Everything That Happens" after listening to some of the song samples on iTunes and thinking they had potential. This album didn't hit me right away. After my first and second listen, I picked a couple tracks ("Strange Overtones", "Everything That Happens", "One Fine Day") that I liked the most and regularly skipped the rest. Later, I gave the entire CD a couple more listens and finally got into each track.

Let's just say that right now I consider this album to be one of the best, and most consistently strong records of the past couple years. For me, David Byrne's voice took some getting used to but now I absolutely love it.

Highly recommended!
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