Till Brönner

At the End of the Day

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At the End of the Day is an album of light jazz covers of rock songs, which turned out to be a fun idea on the surface, but with little depth beneath. To Till Brönner's credit, he tried to push the envelope quite a bit at the track selection stage -- if the Beatles are an expected selection, and Bowie more or less so too, the Killers are a potentially exciting choice, and the addition of sexy goth metal kings Type O Negative -- who contribute "Summer Breeze" -- sounds like a one-way ticket to postmodern joy land. The thing is, however, all the picks really lend themselves well to pop-jazz renditions with all the required attributes -- sentimental crooning (competent, but appropriately tame), midtempo rhythms, background strings, and sweet, lulling melodies. Brönner throws in some trumpet, of course -- that's his thing -- but this only boosts the '80s ballad vibe of the record. At the End of the Day would be a welcome soundtrack for a trip to a nice restaurant -- a godsend if you're on a date -- but musically, it's not nearly as challenging as the track list would lead you to believe. Chances are, those unaware of the album being a set of covers would never realize that, taking it simply for nice background music -- as cohesive as Muzak is supposed to be, and with little in the way of oddities, space or otherwise. It's still a great record in its own weight class -- soft, laconic, unobtrusive, and pleasant, possibly even beautiful. But it fails to escape the ultimate pitfall of cover albums -- the music is nice, but you still get the urge to listen to the originals if you recognize any.

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