INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
The Age JANUARY 16, 2009 - by Bernard Zuel
DAVID BYRNE AND BRIAN ENO: EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS WILL HAPPEN TODAY
It's been more than a quarter of a century since David Byrne and Brian Eno worked together on a trio of astonishing Talking Heads albums. So this album inevitably carries expectations of somehow recreating that magic. Those expectations would be unfair and, as it turns out, inaccurate. This album is not something revolutionary. The songs, plain-spoken lyrics and vocal melodies by Byrne and music from Eno, are mostly unashamedly attractive. You can hear some gentle grooves and occasionally a bit of light funk. There are seductive beds of studio-created sound washes and a secular, or maybe just a white-boy, church effect. Except for Poor Boy, the prickly number you might dance to, it's primarily a blend of electronic and gospel-influenced pop of almost benign reflection, intersecting with a keenly felt scepticism that all the darkness really is on the edge of town. But, as you explore the album, the reality is more complicated. The intimation of flood, neglect and oppression nags away. In Wanted For Life, it's never entirely clear who or what is before the court or indeed whether truth is being told. It's a smart album from two smart men. It's a pleasure, too.