After lots of chatter about when Ocean would release new music, he did it all in one weekend, completely unannounced. The Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter went on a four-year hiatus but he’s back! Frank Ocean produced a visual album, Endless, a new music video and a full-length album, Blonde, as a follow-up to his 2012 album Channel Orange.
After Thursday’s release of Endless, Rolling Stone confirmed that Ocean would be dropping a full-length album during the weekend, but didn’t announce a date. Those who know Ocean’s track record would assume they’d have to wait much longer than a day or two for a full-length album, and that Endless was Ocean’s way of holding them over, per se. Ocean is infamous for saying he will release something and doesn’t follow through. He released Blonde, originally rumored to be titled Boys Don’t Cry, on Apple Music Saturday evening.
Channel Orange had a lot of steady beats, and Rolling Stone calls Blonde “poetic” and “stripped-down.” It’s not an album to bump at a party. Blonde lacks Channel Orange-like tracks such as “Pyramids,” “Lost” and “Novacane.” This isn’t necessarily a negative thing, though. Blonde is full of emotions. “Self Control” is a tearjerker about a breakup. In “Seigfried,” Ocean talks about how he feels alone and how he wants to commit to the one he loves.Bear in mind that this album was four years in the making, and we really get to see how Ocean has grown as an artist within that time frame. Following the trends of Kanye and Chance the Rapper, Ocean featured popular artists such as Beyoncé, Andre 3000, James Blake and Kendrick Lamar.
Ocean sneaks some irony onto the album. “Be Yourself” is a voicemail from Ocean’s mother reminding him to not do drugs and drink alcohol. You’ll become “sluggish, lazy, stupid and unconcerned,” she says. A few seconds later, on the following track “Solo,” Ocean sings about doing drugs.
Watch Ocean’s visuals for his Endless album here!
Noteworthy tracks on Blonde are “Nights,” “Seigfreid” and “Pink + White.” It is available on Apple Music and for purchase on iTunes.