"Blonde" Review

Frank Ocean’s soft and sympathetic side lives on with his newest creation, Blonde. On August 20th, the album was released on ITunes and Apple music, being Ocean’s first release since Channel Orange in 2012. His newest creation was highly anticipated by fans, and exceeded expectations. With a mixture of smooth beats similar to jazz, and guitar riffs, this album’s funk-like vibe seemed to ignite passion into its fans. Talking about the larger changes in his life, he particularly addresses his recent announcement of being homosexual. Ocean also takes breaks throughout the album to discuss certain topics important to him. Blonde is exceptionally emotional, as he lets his feelings take control of the album. Such a genre that Ocean has chosen for himself will intrigue fans similar to those of Acid Rap by Chance the Rapper and, The Life of Pablo by Kanye West.     

The opening song “Nikes” grabs the attention of the listener with slow steady beats and a highly autotuned Frank Ocean. Half way through “Nikes”, Ocean’s voice slowly transitions into the song opening with “we’ll let you guys prophesy”, letting everyone know that only he controls his destiny and career. After Ocean touches on the unexpectedness of  his future, he decides to open up in his next song “Ivy”.  This song features a more upbeat guitar and  faster pace , which nicely contrasts with Oceans slow flowing voice. This song speaks of Ocean’s first love and is the first song on the album that he touches on his sexuality.   He says “I thought that I was dreaming when you said you loved me” letting the listeners know he’s been in love with another man and has been overwhelmed upon finding out that his feelings towards this unnamed man were mutual. His transition from child into adult and his relationship struggles seem to be the focus point in his album. “Pink + White” draws ties back to, “Ivy” explaining how he was brought up and reliving the memories of a close friend who had showed him love.  Such emotional stories of Ocean’s childhood are accompanied by a church like choir singing in the background. This sheds a new light on Ocean, and to fans, almost seems as if the clouds are parting to let his true colors shine through.

While continuing on his sexuality, in the form of a beautiful melody. Ocean expands on his past and lover in “Self Control”, in which Ocean gets very emotional. He lets the still un named ex lover know that he is always thinking about him, and asks for his ex boyfriend to keep a special place in his heart. This song and the song, “Thinking Bout You” on his album Channel Orange seem to take a stab at the same issue. By opening up old wounds, in “Self Control” he let’s the listeners know he is heartbroken from an old relationship and he’ll never let go of them.

Concluding the first half of Blonde, Ocean adds a funky beat and a happier vibe titled “Nights” he completely gets off of his sexuality with his ex boyfriend and talks about his past, breaking laws and showing he isn’t this soft touchy artist all of the time. Explaining how he had knowingly broke numerous laws, some even ending with moderate to severe consequences. This caught the ears of numerous listeners because it pulls back the curtains on things other than his relationships. Blonde does a good job at describing most of Oceans childhood life during the start of the album while illuminating new events regarding his upbringing. A starving subject for fans that have been waiting for the release of Blonde since 2012.         

In the second half of Blonde, Ocean continues his feelings for his lost lover, in “White Ferrari”  he makes a connection to “Self Control” in how he see’s himself ending back up with his ex boyfriend and in another dimension they may stand taller together, instead of not being able to see eye to eye now. The title of this song is significant because it reflects on a high him and his lover experienced together while on cocaine or the “white ferrari”  that he’ll never want to come down from.

Blonde sheds light on information regarding Oceans past and current issues he feels are important enough to discuss. Oceans lost connection with his recent ex lover seemed to fuel the fire regarding some of his newest works. This being his main discussion point he does not leave out other issues, some being racial tensions and some of his struggles regarding an acute drug problem as a result of his torn relationships. Ocean seems lost in the waves but periodically reminds himself that everything is going to be alright. This has lead him to become one of the most influential artist among young adults. Ranking at No. 8 on the ITunes chart, he refrains from boasting about his music and lets the lyrics do the talking.

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