Review: Frank Ocean, ‘Blonde’

Geordan Venison, Reporter

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Frank Ocean returned from his four-year hiatus from music in 2016 and released two albums; one was a visual album named “Endless,” and the second was a studio album named “Blonde.”

Most of the production is done by Frank and features guest features from Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and Andre 3000. The album was highly anticipated due to the hiatus and many delays, as the album was promoted for a July 2015 release and was actually released on August 20, 2016.

“Nikes”- smooth instrumental, Frank critiques materialism in modern day, starts off very slow, but when Frank starts to perform without any effects the song improves

“Ivy”- very wavy sound, very abstract ending, good vocals as well

“Pink + White” – great instrumental, vocals are performed well as they swell at many times

“Solo” – very repetitive, Frank’s vocals are on point again, laid back instrumental, and the back end of the song is better than the first half

“Skyline To”- very abstract sounds throughout the song, very mellow as well, and beautiful moments about halfway through

“Self Control” – ties very well to Skyline To, beautiful vocals, the simple guitar instrumental plays well, lyrics are minimal and performed greatly, a great outro as the vocals build up as well

“Nights” – beginning of song is smooth, but the outro takes the spotlight with a great beat switch; the vocals have an odd effect, but it plays well with the song

“Close to You”- the best interlude, very dark-sounding, a lot of sounds thrown out that sound great

“White Ferrari” – great vocals, very subdued and minimal but is a good song

“Godspeed” – sounds almost like a gospel/church song, great vocal performance

“Futura Free” – a great final song, Frank is being open about his career to this point, and he brings himself down to earth; the beat change a couple minutes in has Frank rapping well

This album throws together so many different sounds and is a very abstract sound. Frank’s vocals are absolutely top-notch and perfectly matches his instrumentals. The album plays as a summer love story going wrong and great at the same time, battling modern expectations, and is super solid.

Rating: 8.5/10

Favorites: Pink + White, Skyline to, Self Control, Nights, Close to You, White Ferrari, Godspeed, Futura Free

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