Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter known by his stage name, BØRNS, released his sophomore album titled “Blue Madonna” on Jan. 12, 2018. This album reveals a psychedelic side to BØRNS that fans didn’t see much of in his debut album, Dopamine. The two collections of work compliment each other well, though, as it’s evident the amount of growth that’s occurred between their releases. “Dopamine” offered an immediate sensation of bliss with its bright, poppy echoes, while listeners have to work a little harder to find the joy in “Blue Madonna.”
While this is definitely different, it’s not bad. In fact, it gives BØRNS an edge over other artists who take a risk with more open, atmospherical sounds. This is because he proves with this second album that he can do it all. Of course, he didn’t work alone. He was joined again by producer Tommy English and the incomparable, ethereal beauty that is Lana del Ray, who appears on two tracks; “Blue Madonna” and “God Save Our Young Blood.”
The latter track, “God Save Our Young Blood,” is the first on the album, and it sets the scene for the rest of the journey; riding in a convertible going 65 down a long California highway.
The musical accompaniment in much of the album feels like a nice, cool breeze, but it gets interrupted by a few natural phenomenons. Track two, “Faded Heart,” is an example of this. The message of being scared of love combined with a steady snare drum made me want to dance while re-downloading Tinder. This is followed by “Sweet Dreams,” which can really only be described as a break-up song. Listeners are then returned to cruising with, by the far the rowdiest of the bunch, “We Don’t Care,” and “Man” drops them off safely at a tiki-hut cabana bar.
“Iceberg”, my favorite track on the album, takes listeners back to “Dopamine” with its pop-centric beats and grungy guitar, accompanied by BØRNS pitch-perfect falsetto. The rest of the album summarizes a love that’s ended and the process of moving on from it. This starts with “Second Night Of Summer,” a song full of lyrical genius: “heart like cellophane;” “throwing me that shade like I’m not cool enough;” “it’s the second day of summer, you already got me sweatin’ about it.”
The title track, “Blue Madonna” steals the spotlight, followed by “Bye-Bye Darling,” a story about separating because it doesn’t make sense to stay together anymore. This track gave me serious “Welcome to the Black Parade” hidden track vibes with its quick and jumpy piano outro. Overall, the album prevails and showcases BØRNS experimental and playful nature.
I’m sure I’m not the only fan who’s already itching for album three.