Even though 1981's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts was the last time David Byrne and Brian Eno worked together, the duo has remained close. So much so that a dinner date where Eno mentioned an accumulation of orphaned instrumental tracks found Byrne volunteering to provide lyrics. The resulting Everything That Happens Will Happen Today avoids taking the dance-rock collage approach of Bush of Ghosts. Instead, this newer project is a considerably more sedate affair that both men insist bears a "folk-electronic-gospel" vibe, more so in structure than religious viewpoint. The closest Byrne and Eno come to the funky approach of their last time together is "Poor Boy," which bubbles over with spiky horns, percolating rhythms, and tart guitar riffs.
Eno's compositions work with lots of space — leaving room for nuances like the gauzy guitar twang hanging over the ethereal choruses of "Everything That Happens," the country music lilt of "My Big Nurse," and the stilted trip-hop of "I Feel My Stuff." Byrne's outlook ends up being optimistic without being Pollyannaish. When he's not crooning Then a piece of mind — fell over me/In these troubled times — I still can see over the dream-pop ambience of "One Fine Day," he posits music as the ultimate redemptive force over quirky beats and Afro-pop phrasing within the pseudo-funk of "Strange Overtones." Everything That Happens isn't as groundbreaking as earlier Byrne/Eno projects but it nonetheless ends up being a pleasant exercise for a cache of instrumental outtakes. (Todomundo)
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