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Album Review: BØRNS – Blue Madonna

2 min read
Photo: Chuck Grant/Totem Pr

The near three-year wait for Garrett Borns’ second outing under his more stylish moniker of BØRNS was a long one. Fans have waited on tenterhooks since 2015, but with Blue Madonna boasting a Lana Del Rey duet from the get go, the bar is set incredibly high – so has the young American lived up to expectation? Well, mostly.

 BØRNS and Lana make quite the millennial power couple, both epitomising romance in an era categorised by despair and uncertainty. God Save Our Young Blood gets off to a dark romantic start, but the way it segues into the first chorus is one that takes a few listens to enjoy. The beginning of the chorus is an anomaly within this track, disrupting the slightly dystopian ending that preaches saving birds and bees amongst other things.

Freddie Mercury is alive and well! Perhaps not quite, but on Faded Heart, BØRNS has given this timeless icon a bit of a run for his money. Vocal acrobatics blend well together with the urgency that is a camp driving force of epic proportions. It harks back to the golden days of Queen, but takes into account a more modern rock temperament whilst still delivering some game changing vocal flourishes.

In 2017, The Killers gave us The Man, and now in 2018 we simply have Man as the BØRNS offering. Whilst The Killers drenched their ode to masculinity in showmanship, BØRNS has taken his running theme of light pop that one step further and truly hit the ground running. Man manages to make a scene without smudging its immaculate glittery soul.

Slightly disappointingly so, I Don’t Want U Back isn’t a rehashing of the one time early noughties classic by Eamon. Instead it’s a smart and collected recollection that finds the joy in the good times but knows they come at far too much of a cost. Supernatural by name, supernatural by nature – this track comes as an unsteady post-interlude surprise, that begs the question; did BØRNS get abducted by aliens in the writing process for this one?

Titular track Blue Madonna is the epitome of 2018 pop, moody and synthy still maintaining a delicate rush. It’s a cooling end of album aperitif, a brief cleanser before final track Bye-Bye Darling changes the tone completely to a much more regal affair. The beginning and end of this album aren’t particularly strong, but the true gems are still definitely there.

One high profile collaboration does not a great album make, but actually it provides the weakest moment of the entire record. Showing that pure BØRNS is the best kind of BØRNS.