Michigan native Garrett Borns, better known as BØRNS, has recently released his sophomore album, Blue Madonna. If your New Year’s resolution is to listen to more good music, listening to this album will put you on the right track. With a moody, longing vibe throughout the album, BØRNS delivers a heavy sense of feels.
BØRNS opens this album with “God Save Our Young Blood” featuring Lana Del Rey. Putting her on this track was a solid decision, as their high pitched, airy vocals harmonize perfectly.
Del Ray is heard throughout Blue Madonna, adding an air of sex appeal. You can practically hear her pouting her cherry red lips as she sings in the background.
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Most of the 12 tracks on this album make you feel like you’re floating through space. BØRNS’ androgynous voice sounds out of this world on every track.
BØRNS stays true to his electropop roots throughout the album with tracks like “Faded Heart” and “Sweet Dreams.” Both tracks are a blend of psychedelic and symphonic sounds, creating an enveloping sense of music.
BØRNS knows how to draw a listener into another world with his songs. It’s as if the music is surrounding you. His voice remains as angelic as it was in his debut album, Dopamine.
The singer/songwriter tends to maintain that same, high-pitched singing voice throughout the entire album. It would be interesting to see him play around with his vocals in the future, much like Lana Del Rey tends to do.
“We Don’t Care” uses some traditional zither throughout the track paired with a very danceable beat in the background, nearly forcing you to snap your fingers. The next song “Man” takes an 80’s techno approach, which seems to be exhausted by BØRNS. This track could have been left behind on his first album to leave room to appreciate his more experimental pieces.
For the lucky listeners, BØRNS dives back into a new sense of psychedelic-pop with “Iceberg.” This track has a youthful sense to it with lyrics about the nervous feelings one experiences with a new love. With its experimental nature, this song brings you straight to freshman year of college. “Second Night of Summer” carries on the love song theme as does many other tracks on this album.
Unfortunately, “I Don’t Want U Back” uses questionable autotune that leaves it barely passable. It can stay back on all of our iPods from 2009, when we were starting to expand our adolescent music horizons before really getting into the good stuff. But after this track, BØRNS kills it on the rest of the album, certainly saving the best three tracks for last.
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“Supernatural,” “Blue Madonna” and “Bye-bye Darling” tie this album together with a well-crafted musical bow. Every song pulls you in and will not let go until the last beat. BØRNS showcases his knack for imagery and evoking feelings as he closes the album with “Bye-bye Darling.” You’ll feel your heart ache the same way it did at the end of last summer. He shouldn’t have closed this album any other way.
Blue Madonna is a solid second album for an artist who continues to satisfy. Though some tracks felt a bit “been there, done that,” the album’s superior songs make up for the rest. Now go put on your best Gucci suit and give this album a listen.
Rating: 4 /5