Frank Ocean – Blond(e) (2016)
After the success of Channel Orange, the music world awaited for the next great project from Frank. After four long years, you can just imagine the excitement when this new record, Blonde, dropped on Apple Music and iTunes. After giving the album a few run-throughs, I am ready to transcribe my thoughts onto paper.
On my first listen, no tracks really stood out to me. I’m not saying this is a bad thing at all. There are no tracks like “Pyramids” or “Lost” or “Thinking About You”, but that’s what I wanted. If this was Channel Orange part two, then I would have been disappointed. But Frank seems like an artist who likes to take his time with his music, and it feels like taking his time with Blonde paid off. The electronic tracks and beats Frank sings over are beautifully crafted. It feels like a nice blend of R&B with some psychedelic undertones. The poppy electronic track on “Ivy” feels like a dream, the guitar riff on “Self Control” is easy to sway to, and the electronic chaos on “Pretty Sweet” is something I can head bang to.
While the structure of the music is arranged very well, Frank excels with his voice. The vocals on all these tracks, aside from “Be Yourself”, “Solo (Reprise)”, and “Facebook Story”, are all fantastic. Frank tackles ideas of love and loss, materialism, drugs and so much more. A wide arrange of topics that is relevant to every one of us. Overall Frank did a fantastic job. I would even say he did a better job on this record than on Channel Orange, but that’s just my opinion. This is going to be a tougher listen (that’s not a bad thing), but the payoff is just sweeter.
Highlights: Ivy, Nights, Solo (Reprise), Pretty Sweet, White Ferrari