Look, I am aware that this album came out in 2015. I know it’s not even BØRNS’s latest release. However, it is one of my favorite alternative albums of all time and I can do what I want. Dopamine embodies perfect combinations of beautiful vocals and well-produced tracks. BØRNS is an extremely talented singer and demonstrates his ability extremely well here.
BØRNS creates a fantastic set of love songs, starting right away with “10,000 Emerald Pools”. His ability to swing his pitch from low to high and back within a matter of notes is truly impressive. Very few singers in the alternative rock genre use this technique to add depth to their songs. He demonstrates this all the more in “The Emotion”, “Dopamine”, and “Fool”.
One thing that becomes evident the more you listen to this album is the switches between slower and faster tempo songs. You notice this especially with the switch to the second piece “Dug My Heart”. The change to such a heavy bass almost catches you off guard.
But what I take away most about this album is how underrated “American Money” is. Tommy English does a fantastic job creating an instrumental that you could easily listen to stand alone. With BØRNS voice over a beat of washed out 808s, synths, and upbeat guitar piece, the song is just impressive. Plain and simple. The love song concludes with soft, harmonizing set of background vocals as an outro.
BØRNS includes a sort of lullaby in the last few songs of the album with “Past Lives”, “Clouds”, and “Overnight Sensation”. Each has a relaxing vibe that tones it down, especially compared to the bright burst of sounds at the beginning of the album. And yet, he brings the upbeat mood back one last time to finish off with “Fool”. Between its almost swing like sound and fantastic background vocals, BØRNS capstones the album perfectly.
The best way to describe this album is as the perfect backdrop to a cool back-country snowboard video. It has such a flowing vibe with good drops that I think the two would go hand-in-hand. BØRNS fantastic vocals paired with a great team of producers make this album had to beat. The only thing that doesn’t work for me are the slower songs, as they feel a little out of rhythm. With that being said I give Dopamine:
Even three years removed from its release, BØRNS’s album remains up there as one of my favorites in the genre and is truly an incredible love song album.