Frank Ocean – ‘Endless’ / ‘Blonde’: Album Review

FRANK OCEAN BLONDE ALBUM 2016

Fans that have endured the prolonged wait of Frank Ocean’s new album were either relieved when he released his latest streams of work, or simply beyond infuriated that he allowed them to wait that long. Yet they still listened, and perhaps loved it.

Those that aren’t familiar with Frank Ocean’s music probably have heard at least one of his songs throughout the last few years. If you are one who sporadically tunes into a radio station, chances are you have heard “Thinkin Bout You” consecutively throughout multiple of stations in one night alone.

Or if you’ve probably heard about the artist and never heard any of his music, you may have quickly become informed about his ominous disappearance in the music scene for the past few years. And you decided to jump on the bandwagon and “Keep Up With Ocean.”  This sort of silence has captivated the minds of internet trolls, resulting into a spew of hilarious memes of conspicuous theories of Ocean’s existence in lieu of his profession. False alarms of album releases has cause false elations, triggering fans to form a “love-hate” relationship with the artist.

Well was it worth the wait?

Perhaps this silence was the catalyst for the release of his works. During this break, it is inevitably impossible to not suspect that what ever the artist may have experienced fueled the tone of his recent release. From snippets of “life” advices from his mother, to ambiguous stories of lovers, the tone of “blonde” is undeniably raw.

“Nike,” the first song in blonde, is accompanied by a music video, which for lack of better terms, serves as a “chaotic” beautiful visual of life and the many possibilities it offers.

In the span of five minutes, the singer hints at sexuality, the importance of black lives, gender bending and women empowerment. The list goes on, spanning through an array of interpretations and confusion. Perhaps we don’t know why there’s a baby shown at the end, but somewhere, something rings all too familiar to someone who’s watching. This is the beauty of the piece.

Blonde and the visual album, Endless, offer an array of emotions, from maneuvered, fabricated vocals to heartwarming lyrics. The visual in Endless is rather circular, providing an ongoing sense of time passing, the viewer lost in the actions of the artist and trying to fit the pieces of the music in unison with the visuals.

Recently, Kanye West has made a public plea, calling on to all radio stations to play Frank Ocean’s music. In one tweet, he states, “If anyone at radio really loves music…come together and pick your favorite Frank Ocean song and play it at least 10 times a day.” He further goes on to justify his claim by stating that Drake listens to Frank Ocean as well. I mean come on, if Drake loves the album this has to be legit. Adele recently also stated that she prefers the album to Channel Orange.

As for listeners, what do you think? Has the long awaited album met expectations or did it simply fall short of Frank Ocean’s previous works?

Comment below.

Release Date: August 20, 2016
Label: Boys Don’t Cry
Format: Digital