Their 1981 collaboration "My life in the bush of ghosts", is such a ground breaking, benchmark set, that this was always likely to be a disappointment.
Out of the strange sleeve, with its computer images of some "perfect" suburban lifestyle package, you get from a CD which depicts a perfectly manicured lawn, an equivalent sound of niceness. I cannot tell you that I was not disappointed but in knowing the previous work of these two great artists as individuals it seemed impossible that the work could be bland and lacking in content as might first appear. To say this is a grower is extreme understatement.
As a great fan of both Eno's textural and spatial masterpieces in sound and Byrne's quirky brand of arch lyricism, I expected an open, experimental sound scape. There is some of that but it is not the patchwork of extremes that burst into the ear in their earlier work. Here the cards are held close to the chest and it is up to the listener to find out what the 11 songs are really saying.
My Byrne is most exciting to my mind when he is character acting and I find him hard to take as Mr.Nice. It takes a lot of listening to understand the relevance of the Cover, Sleeve images and CD Label which are also "nice". It's a brand of "nice" that is deeply thought provoking and uncomfortable, even stifling. The kind of "nice" that politicians and preachers sell.