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Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
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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.''
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
Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I probably won't be the first to say that this album isn't for everyone, but I find that I enjoy it. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Benjamin
I've been listening to this CD for about 5 hears now and really enjoy it. Every couple months I throw it on and it is a good listen! Read morePublished 19 months ago by William Lynd
I bought it for one song and the title of it fools me into thinking it was a different song.
Oh well, money down the drain.
I saw this concert tour 5 years ago and was TOTALLY blown
away! Only concert better were the Rolling Stones.
thought it would be nice to pick up a few byrne cds i did not have, but should have listed to the samples more. Read morePublished on October 17, 2013 by cteno4
This is the mellow side of a Byrne/Eno collaboration. Soothing, yet exotic sounds emanate and flow smoothly through an artistic sketchpad. Read morePublished on May 13, 2013 by Eric Campman