BØRNS = Blue Madonna
I'll be perfectly honest by saying that I've never really understood BØRNS' appeal. His first record was good, but felt like an MGMT or Empire of the Sun anthemic pop rehash. But BØRNS was everywhere, name in big letters at tons of festivals and suddenly the world crowned BØRNS the new voice in rock/pop music. His sophomore effort begins with a collaboration with Lana Del Rey "God Save Our Young Blood" a celebration of youth and vapid culture. Del Rey and BØRNS both employ this sort of dissociated delivery on the track making it sound like two blank canvases just staring at each other for awhile. This sort of arms length approach to a song can work if there is something or someone else in the mix to give the track some energy, but this has neither. You'll also notice a heavy influence from Tame Impala's Currents on this album and I mean fucking big time. However in trying to sound like Currents BØRNS only manages to sound like a weak cover. This album feels very 2015, like the past three years haven't even happened and have not influence BØRNS in the slightest. The lyrics are also clawingly vapid like those on "We Don't Care" where he says "the world is burning, but we don't care" another glimpse into the materialistic aesthetic that BØRNS tries to create. The one saving grace is BØRNS' guitar playing which is actually pretty excellent throughout. It makes you think this record might be better if He just cut the lyrics out completely.
"Man" is one of those songs that is so damn close to something good, but BØRNS just gets in his own way by hanging on to this aesthetic he's developed. The words don't have the honesty you'd want to them, they feel like the things you should say not the things you want to say. "Second Night of Summer" has potential but feels to thin to really be a hit plus it seems like he is totally out of ideas for the song about a minute in. With his falsetto you really need a song to be big and bold in order to keep the high pitched singing from sounding tinny, something BØRNS doesn't seem to understand. The one time He steps a bit out of his comfort zone is on "Tension (interlude)" but it is so brief that it barely moves the needle. The thing that strikes you the most is how BØRNS thinks He can get away with all this stuff without having the chops or the catalog to back it up. Having Lana Del Rey on two tracks also feels odd and clunky, these aren't rappers so why yet another feature? I don't know maybe there is something in this record that I'm not seeing but as it is I don't see anything off Blue Madonna making any kind of impact. There is already a much better version of this record; it came out in 2015 and it's called Currents, thanks Tame.
5.0 out of 10