‘Blonde’ by Frank Ocean
8 out of 10
By Ibu Oluyi ’17
Frank Ocean’s “Blonde” lives up to the hype despite being plagued with delays over the last three years
A follow up to his much acclaimed debut album “Channel Orange”, “Blonde” had been in the works since February 2013.
Whether it be that Ocean’s original target release of July 2015 proved to be too ambitious or that he wanted to spend extra time to refine the sound of his album, the album had numerous release dates with the final and official date being Aug 20.
Accompanying “Blonde” was an entire visual album titled “Endless.”
Endless was no more than a PR campaign used to by Apple to create interest and buzz for “Blonde” as the visuals were no more than men cutting wood and sawing items.
However, other than a few hiccups, the music within “Endless” was very raw and showed a sense of maturity that couldn’t be found within Channel Orange.
“Blonde” takes strides within simplicity, it doesn’t try to be too ambitious and overstep its boundary with over producing.
It’s a very bold move as many of other artists in this day and age like to fill their songs with pomp and circumstance.
“Blonde” starts off with Nikes, which is admittedly one of the weakest songs on the album as the high pitched vocals easily take the listener out of the experience.
It also seems to lack focus which a few other songs on the album also fall into this pattern, specifically Skyline To.
However, the next few songs on the album Ivy, Pink+White, and Solo pick up the slack through their energy.
Up next came Pretty Sweet is an unusual song that Frank sings unrestrainedly over an array of strings and synths. It’s an experimental track that most artists at his level wouldn’t dare to try.
The album regains its focus with songs like White Ferrari, Seigfried and Godspeed, which should have ended the album as its influence of gospel music strikes intense emotion with the listener.
Futura Free ends the album on a bit of a sour note as it doesn’t reach the bar that Godspeed had set for it.
‘Blonde’ is a very good album that could have been a great album if not for the weak start and ending.