David Byrne & Brian Eno
What happens when English bloke Eno decides to tackle America’s gargantuan genre of gospel music? Uplifting takes a slight downturn into boring. Bless Eno’s fervent fascination and willingness to pan for gold in church, but his self-described ‘electronic gospel’ is, although earnest, also slightly tepid-sounding, and with David Byrne dutifully collaborating on vocal arrangements, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today is only a ghost of an echo of the more mid-tempo songs of The Talking Heads, and not quite as inspirational as Eno was probably striving for.
Influenced by Reverend Maceo Woods’ “Surrender to His Will,” Eno set off to create sonic emulations of the gospel music he found to be underappreciated in the country of its own origin, and certainly succeed in creating a unique take. Reaching back to the world-pop of the Heads rather than his collaboration with Byrne 27 years ago for My Life In the Bush of Ghosts (a complex and moody foray into ambience), Eno’s gospel-inspired music, although unique, doesn’t scream innovation; it only whispers of casual experimentation.
Byrne’s direct vocal style hovers wobblingly over Eno’s electronic gospel tracks create a pleasant and comfortable environment with its ample sound and accessible addition of acoustic guitar work, leaving an album that is agreeable but nowhere near as much as a benchmark as the pair’s previous collaborations.