After what seemed like an eternity, Frank Ocean has finally dropped his sophomore album and follow up to his critically acclaimed 2012 debut ‘Channel Orange’. Blonde dropped a couple of weeks back now but I wanted to take a few weeks to listen to it over and over before I talked about it; mainly because Frank makes proper albums, this isn’t a work of distinctive singles with no crossover or relation, it’s a full and rounded album that takes you on a journey from start to finish, so it takes a few listens to pick apart individual songs and hooks and lyrics.
In short, it’s nothing shy of brilliance. It was remarkably worth the wait. It’s hard to pick out just a few highlights, the whole work is just one big sonic, emotional adventure, Frank is raw and refined, bold and soft, the range of voice and feeling is what we’ve come to expect from him and it’s fantastic. He’s a great story teller and lyricist, and also an artist with an incredible ear for musicality, the whole album is beautifully composed, maybe even more so than Channel Orange.
Even the collaborative efforts are out of this world, André 3K does his best to upstage Ocean on ‘Solo (reprise)’, certainly one of the albums many highlights, with Three Stacks laying down a brilliant verse that leaves us all dying for another Outkast album, or maybe even that long awaited solo effort.
‘Nights’, ‘Solo’, ‘Ivy’ and ‘White Ferrari’ are amongst my favourite tracks but again, this album is one of those rarities where you can press play on track one and leave the remote alone until it’s time to rewind to the start and start all over again.
If you’re yet to listen to it, give yourself 90 minutes, sit down, and let Frank do the talking.
Peace, Zack x