Album: David Byrne & Brian Eno, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today (www.everythingthathappens.com)

5.00

The last time David Byrne and Brian Eno linked up, the resulting album – 1981's My Life In the Bush of Ghosts – changed the course of pop music, although it would take the industry the best part of a decade to catch up with their collaging techniques, which in effect invented sampling. Harnessed to lock-tight rhythms, its layered montages of sonic bric-a-brac sought to encompass the vast breadth of audio-social experience becoming more easily available as communications technology shrank the world.

On its reissue in 2006, the pair touched base again and cooked up this follow-up, about as different in sound and attitude from Bush of Ghosts as could be imagined. This time, duties were more strictly delineated, Byrne writing lyrics for Eno's tracks, the two winging ideas back and forth via the internet.

They characterise the result as a sort of "electronic gospel", Byrne's vocals embedded in a choir of Eno's multitracked backing. Compared to its predecessor, it's a simpler, more reflective affair, the work of older men contemplating the limits of mortality and gazing back to the comforts of childhood. With its hissing iron-lung rhythms and gently strummed guitar, the opener "Home" nods to Paul Simon's "Homeward Bound" as Byrne peruses an old photo from "when the world was just beginning"; elsewhere, a glowing keyboard timbre illuminates the inevitability of death in "The Big Nurse". The prospect that "one sad day I will tiptoe away" is buoyed in "The River" by an arrangement with a colour and lightness recalling The Beach Boys.

Both "Everything That Happens" and "Life Is Long" take a similarly gentle approach to ageing, using respectively the lambent guitar chording long one of Eno's sonic trademarks, and in the latter, the swaying gait of a gospel chorale with flute highlights. "I'm lost, but I'm not afraid," Byrne sings, perhaps anticipating the decay of mental faculties. "Life is long, if you give it away." It's a mature attitude towards an unavoidable fact of life.

By the time "The Lighthouse" brings things to a close in a shimmering shroud of ambient tones, the twin fears of decrepitude and death have been tackled with maturity and warmth, and thereby diminished. A consolation for some, a miracle for others.

Pick of the album:'Life Is Long', 'Home', 'The River', 'Everything That Happens'

Arts and Entertainment

Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy

Arts and Entertainment
And now for something completely different: the ‘Sin City’ episode of ‘Casualty’
TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

    Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

    After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
    The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

    After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

    Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
    Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

    Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

    The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
    10 best sun creams for kids

    10 best sun creams for kids

    Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
    Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

    Tate Sensorium

    New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
    Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

    Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

    He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
    Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

    Remember Ashton Agar?

    The No 11 that nearly toppled England
    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

    Bettany Hughes interview

    The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

    Vegetarian food gets a makeover

    Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks