The album starts with Hallelujah which isn’t a Leonard Cohen cover, but an original arrangement. The song is quite intimate and the arrangement reminds me of 2nd Place Driver a little. Born builds up the song to the chorus pretty well, but that real explosion, bursting out emotion and energy is slightly lacking in this first song. It does however show that this man knows how to write a solid rock song.
Hidden Poetry has a nice beat, but still Born doesn’t completely come to full combustion. Lyrically this is a very strong song but musically it’s a bit uninspirational at times. In itself a strong song, but it sounds too much like other bands.
You & Me
Lead single You & Me is no doubt one of the album’s highlights. Good strong alternative rock song with a Fastball-reminiscent rhythm and catchiness. Vocally Born shows to be very solid and the arrangement of the song is inspiring and well-thought out.
Skin And Bones
On the album, Skin & Bones can’t bring what it can during a live performance. The song has a good build-up but fails to impress deeply. The best part of the song are obviously the lyrics, and even though the arrangement has some nice bits here and there it isn’t too spectacular.
Still Here is a predictable song, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s often seen as a straight-forward rock single, and yeah, I might agree with that, but Born performs it well and it is very radio-friendly and makes for a great sing-along during live shows.
40 Days 40 Nights
We now arrive at the strong middle part of the album, which starts with 40 Days 40 Nights. This rock & roll song benefits from strong lyrics and a very good arrangement. The keys and guitar are the basis of the song and Born’s powerful vocals bring something extra to it. It has radio potential and is a killer live song.
Then Time, which might well be the album’s ultimate highlight. This little gem of a song has an incredibly strong arrangement and is quite catchy in its own right. One heck of a modern pop/rock single with emotion and strong vocals, performed like a passionate, modern-day Bob Dylan.
Garden City Times
Garden City Times is a pretty cool, fun rock & roll song with strong lyrics and powerful electric guitars. The vocals remind me of Martijn Hagens (Rosemary’s Sons) a lot and musically that reference isn’t completely off either. The rootsy rock & roll-influenced pop/rock with a sentimental edge is what both acts do best.
Needless To Say
The album continues strong with Needless To Say, which is musically savvy and while it’s a little paced down it still comes off powerful. It focuses on the interaction between keys & guitar and Born’s strong and powerful vocals. The song plays on and nestles itself in your head and after the 3m mark, the song comes to a full bloom after which it builds off and on again. Very strong composition.
Sleep is a pretty cool song with cute lyrics and a nice musical arrangement. At first I was like: ‘what?’ but I instantly liked it. It has something special, it’s a little different and it works. What else do I need to say?
Learn To Fall
The intimate singer/songwriter song Learn To Fall has a little Bob Dylan feel to it as well. Born shows his strong songwriting and storytelling abilities. The folky, soulfully sung ballad is a great way to end the album and it would be great if this could make mainstream radio as it really would hold its own.
It Hurts (ft. Beth Hart)
The re-release of the album features the newly-recorded single It Hurts which is a duet with Beth Hart. While the arrangement of the song is great and the lyrics are strong, the song doesn’t seem to reach its fullest potential. Born & Beth Hart make a decent combination and the song format works for a radio single, but I’ve heard better duets.
We knew that Born was a strong songwriter with a great rock voice. He now proves he can do this consistently for a full album, and on his own. “At The End Of The Day” is getting a good amount of press and critics are recognizing this guy’s talent. With Born, the Netherlands has another promise to cherish.