ALBUM : BLONDE
ARTIST : FRANK OCEAN
GENRE : R AND B / HIP HOP
DATE RELEASED : 2016
It is difficult to review a Frank Ocean album and describe it in general statements. This is because he tends to create different characters, vibes, or mood in each of the songs that put in his album. If you had listened to his first album “Orange,” you know that listening to him is like packing your bags and go on a journey. In this second album, there is still that feeling of being in a journey as he talks of many different things in the past in this album. There is even one track here that could have been a continuation of a track in “Orange” album. Here is a track by track review of his latest album which took him more than three years to finish.
- Nikes – the album started with this hypnotic song and you knew by then that you will be in a journey towards the past. This song is quite reflective as it discussed being trapped in material things and he enumerated some people as examples on the effect of living and adoring them material world.
- Ivy – from these words, “I thought that I was dreaming; When you said that you loved me; It started from nothing,” you could tell that he is talking about past love in here.
- Pink + White – is a seductive song that reminisce probably that first time that he had sex and doing drugs at the same. Pink in here could be alluding to vagina and white refers to cocaine. The song is really trippy and even if you are not indulging pink and white listening to this song, you end up getting the same high without doing it actually.
Listen to Pink + White in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifGtCasE5tw
- Be Yourself – you would think that this song is a continuation of “Not Just Money” where Frank Ocean mom was moralizing about the evils of money. Apparently, there is still moralizing but this time it’s all about marijuana and alcohol. Unfortunately, according to his brother, the moralist is no longer his mother.
- Solo – might sounds familiar to many this is because it sample Todd Rundgren’s “Flamingo.” This song might be alluding to his being high and being alone of course.
- Skyline To – is a song about making love in the open air and doing drugs at the same time. At this point, you might think that Frank is out of creative ideas as this album has quite a number of songs that deals with sex and drugs.
Listen to “Skyline To” here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6O4s7xM-vXc
- Self – Control – one of the best things in this song as it has the most unique lyrics about pleading; “let me be the boyfriend in your wet dreams tonight.” Yes, these words is tantamount to begging and is reflective of the vibe of the whole song where the man loses his confidence later on.
- Good Guy – is quite a revelation if you have not deciphered from the album cover that Frank Ocean might be declaring his bisexuality. In this track, he talked about dating a guy on a blind date and probably ended up discovering that the guy is not so into him.
- Nights – make you feel grab a glass and pour in your favorite drink with a stash of weed beside ready for grab. You just sit and relax and reminisced your progress in life.
- Pretty Sweet – is an arresting song here as you might feel that this is the odd one out. But, once you finish the whole song, you will realize that just like in real life, there is a cacophony of anger that you should release before you settle in. This is the “break the monotony” sound here. The mixture of sounds makes you feel relaxed instead of being aggressive after listening to the whole song.
- Close To You – yes, it is like a cover version or a reworking of that famous Burt Bacharach song.
- Facebook Story – is a song that many couples married or in a romantic relationships can really relate to. While the song took the male point of view, this song speaks truthfully how social media network has become a vital part in a relationship or people’s well-being in general.
- Siegfried – the lyrics suggested that there is a confusion on his part. He is talking about something not a part of his life yet he wanted to be that person a part of his night. Probably, he is talking about his bisexuality in this song.
- Godspeed – a goodbye song but at the same time and “I Will Miss You” song.
Listen to “Godspeed” here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPRTyFpl_aw
- White Ferrari – in his journey, Frank Ocean brought along with him The Beatles by sampling a portion of “Here There and Everywhere.”
- Futura Free – initially, the track started like an Enya track. Then, you hear a rock refrain because this track contained sample of an Anthrax track called “Love Like.”
This album is indeed an indulgent journey towards the past. It takes a talent like Frank Ocean to capture memories that are not only trippy and hypnotic but poetic as well. Feelings were expressed well in the tracks without resorting to trite and cliché words. This ranks up there as album of the year if not one of the best albums ever. I rate this record 5 stars out 5 stars even though that there are three tracks that dealt on the same theme.
1 stars = Ignore it
2 stars = risk it
3 stars = borrow or buy it
4 stars = buy it and keep it
5 stars = buy, keep, and treasure it