David Byrne & Brian Eno – Everything that happens will happen today / 2008

David Byrne and Brian Eno -- Everything That Happens Will Happen Today Album Cover

Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, is sort of like My Life in the Lawns and Hedges. It’s a sort of suburban gospel album, full of major-key pop melodies, stacked, sterile harmonies, and lyrics that struggle, in a time of global uncertainty, to find comfort in images of domesticity. (“Home, with our bodies touching/Home, with the cameras watching/Home, where my world is breaking in two.”)

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Byrne has talked about how Everything That Happens was inspired by gospel songwriting, and that’s true of the songs ‘tone of hope in despair and emphasis on phrasing more than their structure and sentiments. There are hints of gospel in Byrne’s lyrics here, like the line “chains and bars but I am still free” in “Life Is Long”; most of them, though, circle around thoughts of mortality and aging. The album’s highlight is “Strange Overtones,” a bubbling dance song that obliquely addresses Eno and Byrne’s creative process and the worry that music’s fashions have passed them by. And the title track is a sort of secular hymn, a profession of faith from which everything beyond what’s plainly evident has become subject to the erase button.

 

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