A Review of Frank Ocean’s “Blonde.”

kim kardashian

In February of 2013, Frank Ocean told fans that he was working on a follow-up to his critically acclaimed debut studio album Channel ORANGE. Restively, we waited. Then in April of 2015, it was revealed that the album would release that July, and would be entitled Boys Don’t Cry. We waited all summer. The album never came.

Some of us were angry, and others thought he had somewhat anticipated himself. Then for an entire year our world went dark. We hardly heard a thing. Finally, digital outlets like Complex and Pitchfork announced that Boys Don’t Cry was set to be released on Apple Music. That day, too, came and went.

I was beginning to think this was falling into the realm of performance art. I thought that perhaps, like so many others, Ocean had quickly grown tired of the industry and was musing on its fickleness at our expense. Then August arrived, and with it a live stream of an empty warehouse where now and again Frank Ocean would appear, leave, and re-appear. It all seemed very fitting, but some fans felt increasingly alienated. At last, a visual album called Endless appeared, followed Saturday afternoon by Ocean’s full-length sophomore album, Blonde.

Depending on whether you’ve got the physical album, or the digital copy available exclusively from Apple Music, the track list is different. For me, the opening track is “Futura Free,” a synth filled lamentation about coming to fame, riddled with guilt about his family. “Sometimes I feel like I’m a god, but I’m not a god. If I was I don’t know which heaven would have me, momma,” he said.

The album is incredibly dynamic, wavering between the slightly romantic, slightly sad pop for which we originally grew to love Frank Ocean, and a new, edgier, confessional style that seems to fit perfectly with the mystery with which this album came into being.

“Be Yourself,” gives us a look into Ocean’s self-doubt, if not subtle self-loathing, in the form of one of the strange skits that appear on the album. The song which follows, “Solo,” gives up Frank Ocean’s lovely voice over a dark organ, at once happy and funerary, grappling lyrically with loneliness and confusion. “White Ferrari,” another synthy, melancholy song, borrows from The Beatles’ Here, There, and Everywhere, and “Pink + White,” is accompanies by wonderful melodies from Beyoncé.

Laced with homoeroticism, seduction, and experimentation, Blonde is going to be remembered for years to come. I can only speak for myself when I say I could have hoped for nothing more out of Channel Orange’s followup. The whole album is like one long drug-induced dream (not dissimilar to the aesthetic of Endless),  but so cleverly constructed that it’s hard not to be immensely impressed. When I ask myself the question: ‘was this worth the wait?’ my body lurches because this album is so good that my doubt feels sacrilegious.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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