Take Me To The River, Throw This Album In: Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

I was excited when I heard that Brian Eno and David Byrne’s new album was described by themselves as “electronic gospel”, because that brought to mind Talking Heads’ Eno-produced cover of “Take Me To The River”, a brilliant moment on More Songs About Buildings and Food.  Well, it’s not really like that at all.  But I was still excited, because I love Brian Eno’s work, I love Talking Heads, and I love My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, Eno and Byrne’s first collaboration.  Well, I still love that old stuff, but I am being tested by Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.  It’s strange that Brian Eno and David Byrne described their new album as “electronic gospel”, because the term “gospel” would imply a deep emotional connection to the music, something that’s not even apparent in the way Eno and Byrne albumed the album, communicating through email and Eno making the music with Byrne coming up with vocal melodies.  Sure, this was the way the Postal Service made their album, but that was a self-consciously disposable homage to New Wave, and it comes off rather well.  However, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today is supposed to be a BIG artistic statement (partly because Eno and Byrne have hyped it up, and partly because it follows the landmark My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, Eno and Byrne’s first collaboration), but everything seems a little lightweight to make this album stick.  Especially the music, which makes it even more strange that Eno and Byrne would call the album “electronic gospel”.  “Electronic” would imply lots of weird sounds, especially since Eno did most of the music.  It’s not really like that either; the music was described by Byrne as “ominous”, but it’s ambient pop in the worst sense; instead of Sigur Ros-style dream pop, it’s music that can be ignored OR listened to with the same amount of impact on the listener; zilch.  This does not bode well for Brian Eno; how did he fall from making Here Come The Warm Jets, Taking Tiger Mountain, and Another Green World in a two year period to producing Paul Simon, Coldplay, and making this crap in the same amount of time?  I’m sorry, but I can’t really say anything else about this; any discussion of the songs beyond Strange Overtones (sadly, the best track on the album) would be restating the same thing; this album sucks.


2 Responses to “Take Me To The River, Throw This Album In: Everything That Happens Will Happen Today”

  1. Totally concur! Saw the Ann Arbor, MI show billed as “David Byrne does songs of Brian Eno”… It was OK, only one song from Bush of Ghosts, and the rest where Talking Heads hits interspersed with Everything That Happens…

  2. Where is stated that “electronic music” means “a lot of weird sounds”? Come on! The only thing that sucks here is your musical appreciation. I can agree that this album will not connect with listeners as easily as the old Talking Heads recordings, but that is **very** far from being crap. In fact, I have come to like it more each new listening, from the first obvious hook of “Strange Overtones” and then having patience with the remaining tracks. In fact, “My Big Nurse” is one of Byrne’s greatest lyrics today. If you can’t catch the deep emotion there, sorry for you.

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