Michigan native and Los Angeles-based musician Garret Borns, stylized as BØRNS, released his sophomore album, “Blue Madonna,” on Jan. 12, and it went above and beyond my expectations.
I’ve been following his music for a while and have eagerly listened to the singles released before the album dropped, including “Sweet Dreams” and “Faded Heart.”
His first album, “Dopamine,” released in 2015, is one of my favorite albums. I can always listen to it when I need some happy, upbeat music to cheer me up when I’m feeling down.
I’m always a little nervous that artists I really like will release a bad album or go for a strange new style that doesn’t work well, but “Blue Madonna” stays true to BØRNS’s energetic and dream-like indie pop style, but it still experiments with more rock influences.
I also feel that there’s some Prince-like vibes, with electronic instrumentation and androgynous vocals. You can tell that there are lots of ‘80s influences on this album, which I love.
While BØRNS is still an up-and-coming artist, “Blue Madonna” boasts two collaborations with pop superstar Lana Del Rey in “God Save Our Young Blood” as well as her backing vocals on the title track “Blue Madonna.”
Their vocal styles mesh together absolutely beautifully, in my opinion. They have gentle but powerful voices filled with longing and emotion.
I also think that the songs with Lana Del Rey could help him get a bit more attention since she’s such a big name right now. I’m hoping they’ll tour together, because I think that would be a great concert.
My favorite tracks off the album are “Iceberg” and “Second Night of Summer.” “Iceberg” is the sixth song on the album, and it’s catchy and nostalgic.
“Second Night of Summer” is upbeat, bittersweet and delivers the same feeling of nostalgia as “Iceberg” and many of the other tracks off the album.
“Supernatural” is another personal favorite of mine.
The songs are so vivid that they make you almost miss summertime adventures you never even had. In fact, it almost seems weird to release this album in winter because it screams summer smash hit. However, it’s also exactly the kind of music I needed to cheer me up in a harsh, cold winter. I’m not complaining, because I needed something new to listen to, anyways.
I’d recommend “Blue Madonna” to fans of other indie pop singers like Lorde, Lana Del Rey, Grimes and Florence + The Machine, as well as fans of indie rock bands like MGMT, flor, LANY and Glass Animals.
Overall, I am impressed with “Blue Madonna.” Many artists fall flat with their second album, but BØRNS certainly did not.
This album is promising because it showed his growth as a musician while still staying true to his roots.
I am looking forward to BØRNS’s future releases because I have a feeling they’ll still be able to top all of his current music.
I’d rate this album 5 out of 5 stars.