David Byrne

From his time leading the seminal new wave band the Talking Heads to his mercurial and oftentimes fascinating solo career, David Byrne has always done things his own way. And for the better part of 40 years now, he's ingrained himself into the fabric of indie and experimental music, creating a body of work that is as satisfying and challenging as that of any figure in rock music since the mid-1970s.

Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, Byrne's second direct collaboration with Brian Eno, was released last year and made several critics' top 10 lists. Although it certainly wasn't as patently peculiar as the pair's 1981 effort My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, Everything was signature Byrne: angular pop with brains.

Besides covering everyone from Paul Simon to The Fiery Furnaces, Byrne has demonstrated a restlessness of spirit that's commendable, intimidating and, at times, frustrating. The fact remains that some of Byrne's post-Talking Heads work, although commendable, is not all that listenable. Try making your way through 1991's neo-classical mess The Forest or Byrne's score for Robert Wilson's Opera The Knee Plays for example. Perhaps such is minor quibbling, however—especially when Byrne has the Heads' magnificent Remain in Light on his résumé.


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