81.) David Byrne and Brian Eno - Everything That Happens Will Happen Today (2009)
Well, this record was certainly a surprise.
Eno and Byrne hadn't worked together since 1981 when they collaborated to record My Life In the Bush of Ghosts, a sonically adventurous, but not necessarily appealing amalgam of found sounds, ambient noise, world rhythms, and various levels of electronic elements...all in all not my thing.
And then twenty seven years later, they make this. A pop masterpiece. A record on par with the best of their Talking Heads collaborations for sure. Though Everything That Happens is certainly a collaboration between these two men, they weren't together through much of the process. Eno took care of the music and Byrne the lyrics and melody and wow, does it work.
Everything That Happens is unpretentiously uplifting. It's Byrne and Eno settling in and not concerning themselves with anything but making good, pleasant music. But here pleasant does not mean innocuous by any stretch. Everything That Happens isn't exactly bubblegum. Eno and Byrne found a very nice in-between here. The music is adventurous, the production stellar and it is one of Byrne's best vocal performances ever. It's a warm and hopeful record without ever being cheesy.
Byrne and Eno are famous for pushing the envelope a bit and it's no different here. Except this time they're pushing it by not pushing it too much. Everything That Happens is a record that will be enjoyed by anyone who likes music... basically. And that's a huge left turn. Other artists have out-bush-of-ghosts'd Bush of Ghosts by this point, so why do that again? Instead they opted to write a better pop record than virtually anyone else. A record that has provided a lot of enjoyment for me and certainly one of my most listened to records of the last few years.
I spent a good few months being addicted to Everything That Happens and found myself needing to hear certain songs (I'm feeling that way about The Antlers record right now). I don't want to say I've cooled on it because that's not the case, but I haven't been as obsessed as I was initially. But every time I play it or hear one of the songs, it brings me back to that place where last year I was scrolling through my ipod and almost always landing on Everything That Happens and almost always playing "I Fell My Stuff" over and over...and then "Home"...and then "Poor Boy" and on and on.
That's the mark of something truly great.
Posted by Pat Driscoll