by Angel Terry – Editor-in-Chief
The highly-anticipated third studio album Blond(e), from Grammy award-winning artist Frank Ocean, was finally released exclusively for streaming on Apple Music on August 20. After four years since the release of Ocean’s first album Channel Orange, and countless album date changes, the wait is over for Ocean fans. The album was first teased to be released when Ocean posted to social-networking site Tumblr, on April 1, 2015, a photo of him holding multiple magazine covers, with the caption “#ISSUE 1 #ALBUM 3 #JULY2015 #BOYSDONTCRYMAGAZINE” and from that very moment, the anticipation for this new project skyrocketed.
A series of failed promises, and rumored album dates surfaced and resurfaced throughout the long year, until people were beginning to think there was in fact, no album being released.
It wasn’t until August 2016 however, that a mysterious live broadcast appeared online to be a visual album titled Endless filled with new music playing in the background, as Ocean builds a staircase.
The album Blond(e) was then released a day later. The project is a collection of wispy vocals, mixed with audio skits, with songs of love and loss and lost love, proving that Ocean is in a completely different head-space than he was four years ago.
The album is predominantly Ocean with no other distinguishable features, except for faint vocals form Beyonce Knowles on the track “Ivy”. The entire project was filled with more pop-synth sounds and acoustics, as opposed to concrete instrumentals and hip-hop heard in Channel Orange. One of the most obvious beat switches occurred in “Nights” where two completely different periods of time are sung after each other.
The album also includes a variety of monologues, including one from Ocean’s mother in the form of a voicemail message in “Be Yourself”, in which she talks about the importance of staying away from trying to fit in by doing drugs, and the idea of being yourself.
Blond(e) concludes with “Futura Free”, which is a nine-minute track perfectly tying together an emotional rollercoaster that is this album.
Ocean has proved that the last four years have been a period of growth, and maturing for him. With an overall eighty-seven score on Metacritic, a second Grammy award could be in the cards for Ocean this year.