David Byrne & Brian Eno
Byrne and Eno describe the (so far) online-only Everything That Happens Will Happen Today as “electronic gospel.” It couldn’t sound more different than My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Byrne sings throughout, Eno provides pop wallpaper with ambient guitarist Leo Abrahams, and you begin to hear a connection between Remain in Light, the chopped-up preachers of Ghosts and a meaning-of-life babble. Byrne’s songs extol optimism with so much feeling and come by it naturally. But Everything That Happens is almost a parody of optimism: Party-packed with major chords, shopping-dome synths and live brass, “Home” sounds like The Flaming Lips covering Woody Guthrie. Among the things that “happen today” in the daydreamy title track, an automobile explodes. Plus, the gently sermonizing line Life is long when you give it away, is set to Byrne’s poppiest melody since “Little Creatures.” Though it’s become a pop commonplace, Byrne’s singing was never exactly the first thing you loved about him. He so often has the high-pitched blankness of a sustained yawn. But he sounds pretty good here, age bringing a surer, more raw tone along with more confidence in his question marks. David Byrne plays at 8 p.m. on Oct. 21 at The Palace (625 S. Fourth St., 583-4555).