Well, after 4 years of waiting, the time has finally come. Frank Ocean has finally put out that album we’ve all been patiently waiting for. And to my pleasure, I must say that it was actually worth the wait. In 2012, Frank Ocean gave us the show-stopping “Channel Orange,” which is by far one of the best albums of all time. That is my opinion, but based on his unwavering fan base and unanimous critical acclaim, something tells me that most people would agree. The new album, titled “Blonde,” was released this past weekend on August 20; and it seems to be the only thing people are talking about.
Rumors have been swirling for the longest about Frank Ocean releasing his sophomore album this year but no one was quite sure when that would be. When Mr. Ocean posted a picture of a bunch of dates, the final date was a smudged day in July. This left everyone hopeful but also confused as he’d been promising to release this album for over a year. Moreover, July 2016 came and went and there was still no album. I can say for myself that I had lost hope. I didn’t think we were ever going to get an album and that perhaps Frank would be the next Lauryn Hill and never release another album after blessing us with a classic. In August accredited sites like the NY Times stated that Frank would be releasing an album exclusively on Apple Music. They were wrong about the date, but right about the information. It started with the live stream of the visual album “Endless” on August 19, which was somewhat of a strange loop of Frank singing miscellaneous records while putting together a staircase. There was still no album though, but then the next day came and so did “Blonde.” People lost their minds. The “Channel Orange” crooner finally gave the people what they wanted.
“Blonde” is more than just an album, it is a prime example of self-expression. The 17-song-long album is quite eclectic but every song fits together perfectly. Songs like “Be Yourself,” featuring a monologue by a mom telling the listener to be themselves and stay away from drugs and alcohol, seem out of place, but it actually adds to the storyline. This album seems to reflect a journey, which may be why it took so long for Frank Ocean to release the album in the first place. What I loved is that the album doesn’t have any official features aside from some flawless background vocals from Beyoncé and Jazmine Sullivan on “Pink + White” and Andre 3000’s album-stealing verse on “Solo (Reprise).” Frank finesses the art of less being more, and the unofficial features elevate the album to a whole new caliber.
I could go on and on about the future legend that Frank Ocean will be when it is all set and done, but let me stop while I’m ahead. Just take my advice listen to “Blonde.”