Album Review: BØRNS—“Dopamine”

By Samantha Capaldi

I have been waiting for the release of Dopamine for a few months now after I heard BØRNS perform his unfinished track at the time titled “American Money.”  This past August, Garret Borns, under his stage name, BØRNS, opened for The Bleachers and Charli XCX at The Filmore in Detroit. Since that night, I have been waiting to listen to his new songs again, and to hear more from the Michigan-based artist. Dopamine did not disappoint. I have never so immediately fallen in love with an artist’s sound before this. BØRNS had this cool, effeminately laid-back demeanor with vocals that were so full of range, yet seemed to come from a place of ease. I have never gone to a concert before this where the opening act surpassed the kind of excitement that the actual band I went to see had. BØRNS was super cool, and had the music to match.


Album art for Dopamine

After that night, I immediately bought his EP Candy, which was released in 2014, to hold me over until the release of his first full studio album, Dopamine. Almost all of the tracks from it carried over to the full studio album – “Past Lives”, “10,000 Emerald Pools” and “Electric Love.”

“Fool” was the first single released off of Dopamine, which shares notes with both the disco and rock genres of the 1970s. BØRNS’ other tracks also take on different conglomerations of genres and inspirations from different artists that shape the sounds of his ethereal vocals mixed with synth keys and melodic electric guitar. Take “Overnight Sensation;” There is just something about that track that gives me The Beatles’ psychedelic-era vibes.

The best track on the album to me, though, is “American Money.” Even though I went into listening to Dopamine as a little biased having gotten the privilege of listening to it before it was released, this track stuck with me and remained the strongest on the album. Just the line itself: “take me to the paradise in your eyes/ green like American money” sounded like something Lana Del Rey wold sing about and I loved it. It’s romantic without being too over the top and to be honest, sounds like a great Instagram caption. (Interscope)

Listen: “10,000 Emerald Pools”


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