Published May 8, 2009
It is amazing how two incredibly talented and interesting musicians can conspire to make something as inherently dull and commonplace as this. Middle age, it seems, has not only caught up with the duo, but completely overwhelmed and surrounded them. There are points when their painfully predictable blues-pop seems almost self-aware; the sonic fiddling of I Feel My Stuff and the lyrics to Strange Overtones (This groove is out of fashion / These beats are 20 years old… Strange Overtones / Though they’re slightly out of fashion… It is strong and you are tough / But a heart is not enough-), combined with the simple fact that men with Byrne & Eno’s history of innovation and perfectionism could not permit them to make an album like this unless there was a reason for it, all seem to point to the possibility that ETHWHT may be part of a larger picture visible only to its creators. Who knows, maybe this forgettable piece of radio-friendly fluff may be the album Byrne & Eno have wanted to make all their lives.
- Verdict: Incredibly interesting people making completely dull art. A lot like Woody Allen’s last ten films, really. Óli Palli would love it.