BØRNS: Blue Madonna

Posted May 2, 2018 by in Alternative



4.5/ 5


Genre: , ,
Genre: Alternative, rock
Producer: Thomas Schleiter
Label: Interscope
Format: Digital download, compact disc
Time: 41:33
Release Date: 12 January 2018
Spin This: "Faded Heart," "Bye-Bye Darling," "Iceberg," "Man"


Børns knows his talent and artistry, and it reaches a glorious bloom with ambitious explorations and solid compositions. Hardly a bad track in sight.


Hurts to hear a song like "Tension" being reduced to a 1-minute interlude. It deserves to be expanded

Inside Børns’s mesmeric, dreamy, exotic and fuzzy love fantasy

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

BØRNS’s mesmeric, dreamy, exotic and fuzzy love fantasy

borns-album-01Børns, born Michigan native Garrett Clark Borns, may be our generation’s Ziggy Stardust. His androgynous style and fashion allure pay homage to David Bowie, but vocally and musically he strays from glam rock and leans on Florence + the Machine baroque pop and Lana Del Ray atmospherics while depositing psychedelic buzzed guitar rock.

On his second album Blue Madonna (his second LP with Interscope), you hear Børns reaching beyond the ‘60’s Beach Boys ambiance of his previous disc, Dopamine, and that marvelous “Electric Love” used infamously in a round of Hulu promo ads. He’s still nostalgic in his presentation, but explores a world of fuzzy rock, thanks to the focus of Thomas Schleiter’s production. Lana Del Ray shows up in the opening track, “God Save Our Young Blood,” but it’s not the album highlight. “Faded Heart” plays with alternative garage rock, drumming up like a swirl of The Black Keys and the Strokes. And “We Don’t Care,” a definite standout, shows off Indian sitar action on a palette of “I Want Candy” riffs. And “Iceberg,” another album gem, gives us Alabama Shakes rock ‘n soul with cannabis technicolor (“I’ve been meaning to tell you that I’ve been/Dreaming about you rolling a perfect joint like you do/You’re always perfect, it makes me nervous.”)

When Børns goes for a dancey ditty, like on “Man,” he starts out with LCD Soundsystem programming and “Sympathy for the Devil-doo-doo-doos,” but its chorus ascends into a euphoric vocal with Florence Welch in mind as he belts “when the lights down/I want to be your man.” It feels like the best of both worlds.

Sadly, the earworm of the album is tucked inside an interlude. The one-minute and a half “Tension” plays like a lo-fi disco kickstarter. If only it was actualized and expanded, it would’ve been a five-star event.

Other than the absence of album personnel detail inside a set of liner notes strung together like a Harper’s Bazaar photo shoot, Blue Madonna is a twelve-track album feast that plays like a definitive rock opera, with “Bye-Bye Darling” acting as the succulent finale (“goodbye to the paperback age”). And with dreamy vocals, artsy production and a wise ear to pull styles together in a way that doesn’t seem carnivorous, a star is born in Børns.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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