The last time that David Byrne and Brian Eno worked together, the former was about to record one of the albums of his career (Talking Heads' 'Remain In Light', also produced by Eno), and the latter was still carving a niche for himself as experimentalist musician and producer extraordinaire. Their collaborative 1981 album, 'My Life in the Bush of Ghosts' is still hailed as one of the most quietly influential albums of the '80s, incorporating pioneering experiments in sampling, world music and art-rock.
This time around, the pair are embracing technology in a different way; Everything That Happens Will Happen Today (which came to fruition via a collection of dusty Eno demos brought to life by Byrne's lyrics and melodies) has been initially released and marketed via the internet, for starters - a concept even the most forward-thinking musician would have laughed at in 1981.
But if you're hoping for another 'My Life in the Bush of Ghosts', don't get too excited - although this is a largely enjoyable record, it's far from trailblazing. Your heart will probably sink, in fact, once you've heard the tedious opening couplet of Home and My Big Nurse; though Byrne's voice is as sweet and sinewy as ever, they're both drab, mid-paced folk numbers that leave little to be excited about, while One Fine Day is like something from The Lion King musical.
From there on in, however, the tempo and the diversity picks up commendably. The laidback, jazzy pop of Life Is Long, the funky shake of Strange Overtones (replete with Byrne's trademary harmony-layered big chorus) and the groovy, stop-start glitchiness of Wanted for Life are all acceptably creative, and Poor Boy could even pass for a Talking Heads track if they were still around.
Would this album be worthwhile without Byrne's input? Probably not. Still, it's dynamic and fun in places, and certainly worth a listen or two.
'Everything That Happens Will Happen Today' is available exclusively from here now. Physical copies will be available in October 2008.