It would almost be an offense to try and define BØRNS’ musical style. The 26-year-old Michigan-born artist has returned to please our ears with a delightfully energetic, playful album filled with funky beats, explosive synths, quirky bass riffs and his trademark high-pitch vocals. Blue Madonna, BØRNS’ second album after his 2015 Dopamine debut, seems to consolidate the artist into a musical niche all of its own. Is it chillwave? Is it glam rock? Is it synthpop? Perhaps it draws nuances from all three. In fact, what is great about BØRNS is that there really is no need to place him into a box; his masterful blending of genres invites listeners to dial down judgment and simply enjoy his music for what it is.
This way one can begin to appreciate the artist’s stream-of-consciousness lyrics reminiscing about modern American youth culture:
Baptized in blue skies
Roll the window down, reach out, feel around for new life
Damn, you and those green eyes
We can never stop movin’, we see nothin’ but the green lights
(from God Save Our Young Blood)
Blue Madonna’s reckless exploration of drastically different but cohesive sounds mirrors the current skewing of social and gender boundaries in the US and worldwide. BØRNS himself represents that same nonchalant yet unapologetically genuine lifestyle through his fashion. Take a look at his live performances, for example, painted nails, flowery crop tops, long hair and colorful garments. Paired with almost feminine vocals, even the artist himself doesn’t allow for any judgment. As a matter of fact, he’s made it clear: he simply doesn’t care. And that is so refreshing, given just how much pressure social media puts young people through to look and act like someone else.
That being said, BØRNS’ fans can actually live through the creative journey that inspired Blue Madonna. The Search For The Lost Sounds is a rather trippy video on his Vevo Youtube channel, where the viewer is presented with the city and the music that built the foundations of this album. Living in LA, the artist manages to take the city’s chaos, opulence, and cultural contrasts and insert them into the record. As to the music, take the tenth song: Supernatural. One of the three “muses” portrayed in the video plays the theremin, considered as the world’s very first electronic instrument. On its own, its sound seems to come from outer space. But inserted into Supernatural it settles perfectly into the song’s dreamy atmosphere, masking the instrument’s eeriness and instead of acting as a crescendo to an elegant climax at the end of the piece.
As you start binge listening to the album, you’ll recognize a familiar voice in both Blue Madonna and God Save Our Young Blood; Lana Del Rey becomes a great addition to an already fantastic album. So from the mellow, slow-paced Bye-bye Darling to the fiery, We Don’t Care, it’s safe to say that Blue Madonna is an album that won’t leave anyone disappointed thanks to its musical variety, its carefree yet elegant vibes, and of course, thanks to BØRNS.