By Michael Patrick Brady
Brian Eno and David Byrne have both entered the comfortable later stage of their careers, the one reserved for innovators with nothing left to prove. But Everything That Happens Will Happen Today is a reminder that even in this more relaxed, circumspect state, they remain powerful and provocative artists. Byrne’s lyrics display a fascination with the minutiae of life — he’s like an alien anthropologist yearning to understand. Eno’s music, ideas collected over the last few years that he enlisted Byrne to breathe life into, resembles the sonic landscaping he created for Paul Simon’s Surprise, a bubbling froth that sounds warm and peaceful. It’s light years away from the chaotic tension of My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts; that may be disappointing to some, but it’s better to see these artists not trying to fit into the clothing of their youth. The few quirky experiments, like the trip-hop-inspired “I Feel My Stuff,” are outmatched by the soaring tracks where Byrne unleashes his full-bodied vocals. “The River” finds him in prime form, his words climbing in cadence and reaching a fevered ecstasy while Eno makes every mundane lyrical turn of phrase into an epic, explosive event. Everything That Happens is a brilliant addition to a creative partnership that has yielded so much and shouldn’t have taken 27 years to rekindle.