Ocean performing at the Pemberton Music Festival on July 20, 2014. (Photo Courtesy of Andy Holmes)
Ocean performing at the Pemberton Music Festival on July 20, 2014.

Photo Courtesy of Andy Holmes

Anticipated album makes a splash

September 27, 2016

The thirst has been real. Now that the four year wait is over, a masterpiece is unveiled. Frank Ocean’s new album, “Blonde,” hit the world like a tidal wave and sent Twitter into a frenzy.

Much like his first album, “channel ORANGE,” Ocean continues his experimental use of recurring melodies, various voice effects, varying song lengths, tranquil beats, and soundbites from different people to take his fans on another creative journey.

Throughout the album, Ocean addresses a number of current topics while using engrossing melodies to create a captivating, cohesive sound. No song stands out, and the majority of the album is slow. To some, this may seem boring when craving hits similar to “Thinkin Bout You.” But this album is clearly so much more.

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Ocean at the Øya Festival in August of 2012. Photo courtesy of Per Ole Hagen.

“Pink + White” is the smoothest butter I’ve ever had, and I can’t wait to put it on my bread. The slow, ethereal background vocals are a combination of Ocean and Beyoncé and send the listener into another dimension.

At first listen, one might miss the complexity of the lyrics due to the 17 -track long daze the listener is put in. The slow beats set a simple tone for the album, but the lyrics are the little bits of gold.

Two interludes serve as mini lessons about drug abuse, individuality, and self-awareness in “Be Yourself” and the importance of staying present even with the distraction of technology in “Facebook Story.” Both feature a main character and the same calming melody to reiterate the vibe of the album.

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Ocean performs at Lollapalooza on August 4, 2012. Photo courtesy of Shane Hirschman.

Ocean continues to tell small lessons when saying things like “mind over matter is magic” in “White Ferrari” and “there will be mountains you won’t move” in “Godspeed.” “Seigfried” also gives insight into the overwhelming feeling of not fitting into societal norms from his perspective.

He artfully discusses violence, police brutality, unemployment, sexuality, and relationships with powerful ballads and hypnotizing vocals.

It is clear that “Blonde” is not meant to be a radio hit. With a diverse soundtrack and controversial topics, this album shows Ocean’s capability to create phenomenal art. More details are revealed about his past and his personal life, and he takes us on a trip through his mind. I don’t know about some people, but I’m always ready to take a dive into the heart of the sea.

 

 

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