Bernhard Brink - Lieben und Leben
Bernhard Brink is indeed one of the big names of German schlager. His songs attract a huge fan base. On 28th May 2021, he is releasing an album, lieben und leben (“Loving and Living”). It is his 21st album. Here is my review.
Bernhard Brink – About The Artist
Bernhard Brink was born on 187th May 1952 in Nordhorn in Southwest Lower Saxony, Germany, right at the Dutch border. He is most well-known as a German schlager singer, but he is also working as a TV and radio host. He moved to Berlin in the 1970’s studying law. He finally ended up being exmatriculated after eight years, as he rather went for his music career.
Even though the his first album making it to the German charts (Top 100) is Direkt mehr as of 2001, his fourteenth studio album, he had a lot of chart placements in the single charts. Fun fact is that there was only one single chart entry after his initial album chart placements. The most famous songs are likely Liebe auf Zeit (“Love on Time”, 13th place in Germany in 1976) and Ich wär so gern wie du (“I would like to be as you”, 19th place, 1979). The latter song is a Suzi Quatro cover.
Bernhard Brink – Lieben und Leben – Track by Track
The sixteen track album lasts 58 minutes. Even on the morning of release day, only the title track has been available on YouTube – thus, I suggest you to go for Spotify or other streaming platforms if you want to have a deeper listen.
1. Lieben und leben
The album starts with the only song, which has been released before the album, the title track itself. A rather slow schlager track. Might not be the typical soundtrack for a schlager dance party – but a solid track with good lyrics. Brink starts his 2021 album with a very classic sound.
2. Wirklich frei
Kann ich nur mit Dir sein
Und vor allem zu allem bereit.
can I only be with you
And especially to be ready for everything”)
A very classic second track. Very rhythmic. Could easily be a 1980’s or 1990’s recording. Very catchy song – I really like to listen to it.
3. Brennendes Herz
Brennendes Herz (“Burning Heart”) incepts a bit darker, but then turns into a really nice listen. Songs like that one feel to be in Bernhard Brink’s musical comfort zone. I am sure his fans enjoy this track.
4. Es geht immer weiter
Es geht immer wieder (“It goes on again and again”) is especially impressing with a very powerful, background instrumentation. Especially when the strings are occuring in the background, this track is just a great listen. Great arrangement.
5. Von Null auf unsterblich
As long as Bernhard Brink is using elements like the the powerful instrumentation in Es geht immer wieder, the album stays entertaining. The plot of the songs is not too versatile. Von Null auf unsterblich (“From Zero To Immortal”) with its falsetto background voices almost has a touch of a Modern Talking song.
6. Wieder laut und wieder frei
I enjoy about this track, that the rhythm is not that present as in the songs before. This again leads to a 1980’s style. The song could easily be a Roland Kaiser or a Howard Carpendale track of that era. Wieder laut und wieder frei is also a lovely showcase for Bernhard Brink’s vocal strength.
7. Wir sind das Licht
So far, Brink managed to have quite different songs on his Lieben und leben album. Wir sind das Licht (“We are the light”) is a classic dance schlager tune, maybe overall slightly slow-ish. Even though it is a pretty solid production, the song almost automatically feels to lack special elements. It just does not touch me as much as other track.
8. Herz aus Titan
Ich hab ein Herz aus Titan,
[Wenn es Dich liebt, was dann?]
Wenn es Dich liebt, dann sieben Leben lang
Und wenn ich glaub’ mich trifft der Schlag
Schlägt mein Herz nochmal so stark
Und Liebe fühlt sich unverwundbar an.
(“I am having a heart made of titanium
[If it loves you, so what?]
If it loves you, then seven lives long
And if I was if struck by lightning
then my heart beats with duplicate power
and love feels unvulnerable”)
Even though it is really tough to translate these lyrics, it already illustrates the weakness of this song: the lyrics are a bit of thin-ish. Bernhard Brink compensates it with electronic sound, powerful rhythms… As long as you can dance to it, it has the potential that people enjoy it.
9. Für Gefühle kann man nichts
Even though I more and more feel that there won’t be too many surprises on this album, Bernhard Brink somehow keeps me happy. Für Gefühle kann man nichts (“You can’t help feelings”) feels like a song as so many songs. Even the melody does not feel apart from a sing-a-long ooh-ooh-ohh in the chorus. But the song is catchy. And you enjoy to listen to it. This is a review of a schlager album, not jazz or country. No complex plot, no deep stories. Bernhard Brink delivers almost four minutes of happiness. That’s what people expect. Mission completed.
10. Vom Herz navigiert
If you have an album, where the songs use very similar mechanisms to make you smile, a song which is just slightly worse may already feel like a complete fail. Vom Herz navigiert is simply worse than its predecessor – and I cannot relate to it. Bad luck.
It more and more feels that the album could have passed a turning point. Sixteen songs may just be too much if your songs’ structures and elements are that similar. Meilenweit is definitely not a bad song. But it feels arbitrary and repetitive on this album.
12. Spür mein Herz
Spür mein Herz (“Feel my Heart”) is not an outstanding song on the album to me. But the vocal arrangement in the chorus is definitely catching. The rather slow song is definitely quite apparent again. I absolutely appreciate it.
13. So tun als ob
I like songs like So tun als ob, in which Bernhard Brink is almost majestically singing with a rather low voice. Unfortunately, this track feels a bit sloppy and slack to me – other tracks grant much more energy to the listener.
Much more energy in Lauf (“Run!”). Even though the beginning of this song even feels more promising than the song actually is, there are definitely some positive things about this song. I could imagine that this one is amazing on stage.
15. Einmal noch
As the last track is a song medley, Einmal noch is something like the final song of the album. The chorus is fantastic and comes with its very own style. Would have loved to listen to more of this hymniss compositions.
The seven minute finish of the album is really confusing me. The “Hitmix” (something like “hit medley”) features classic schlager artists like Freddy Quinn, Ivo Robic or Karel Gott, interpreted by Bernhard Brink. Bernhard Brink is a titan of schlager himself – I don’t see that much value in this covers versions which have been crushed with rhythmic and electronic elements.
Bernhard Brink – Lieben und Leben – Spotify
Here is Lieben und Leben on Spotify:
Bernhard Brink – Lieben und Leben – My View
I really struggle with this album. Individually, there is hardly a really bad song. If this was an album of some ten songs, it could be a really good one. However, Bernhard Brink went for quite a long recording – and therefore just did not move out of his musical comfort zone sufficiently. This finally leads to a tiring effect, the songs feel very stereotype, especially on the melodic side. Bad luck, he deserves a better rating – but he just went for too much in this release.
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