Release Date: Jan 12, 2018
Record label: Interscope
Genre(s): Pop, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Left-Field Pop
Three years after the release of his masterful debut, Michigan native BØRNS returned with his sophomore effort, Blue Madonna. Joined once again by producer Tommy English, BØRNS takes a few steps away from Dopamine's direct, pop-savvy approach, opting for an expansive, atmospheric experience that allows his ideas a little space to wander. While the results are not as immediate as Dopamine (which was a straight shot to the pleasure zone), Blue Madonna is ultimately a more rewarding journey that unveils itself with repeat listens.
If you’ve encountered any commercials in the past couple years, you’ve likely heard “Electric Love,” off of Garrett Borns’ synthy 2015 album Dopamine. Even if you haven’t, you could probably guess it came from an ad for something or other. Such is the nature of the beast: acts that combine synth-pop and rock and a not-overly-generous spritz of funk, straining to be liked by as many people as possible, commissioned and talked about in terms of utility: “could slot in a playlist or festival lineup alongside MGMT and Currents-era Tame Impala.” Blue Madonna, BØRNS’ follow-up to Dopamine, differs from its predecessor mostly by having a less atrocious cover..
Few musicians seem as tailor-made for the Coachella crowd as Børns. With his endearingly retro wardrobe, pre-Raphaelite locks, and perceptible air of suavity, the Michigan-bred singer-songwriter looks every bit the part of a California-desert crooner; and his best songs, from glammed-up mega-hit "Electric Love" to the cooing "10,000 Emerald Pools," possess a consonant boho-chic energy. All dreamily sunlit synths and hypnotic wordplay buoyed skyward on the strength of the singer's airy falsetto, they're the kind of ear candy favored by summer fest junkies, and leave little doubt as to why he titled his 2015 debut "Dopamine.