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Frank Ocean – ‘Blonde’ album review

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Frank Ocean

‘Blonde’

Frank Ocean - Electric Lady Studios

Blonde, an album released in 2016 but feels like its 2026. A timeless classic which shows Frank’s memories transformed into musical pieces. Album opens with the track ‘Nikes’ in which you are immediately welcomed with lush synth pads and drums. To say the album is great is an understatement, Frank incorporates all his favorite musical artists and inspirations into this album with the likes of, Beyoncé, Kanye West, Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead, Vampire Weekend and many more to create the minimalist but deep world he sets in Blonde.

Having heard the album since its debut till now many times shows the timelessness of the album. With lyrics written in the perspective of Frank, you easily could relate to it again. One of the highlight tracks is Self Control, a track in which Frank talks about an old lover having someone else already and how he doesn’t mind and he will literally, “sleep between yall” as he sings in the song. The track is one of my personal favorites, not only for its meaning but the instrumentation, the muffled distorted guitar sounding similar to Kanye West’s Runaway outro of him singing through a vocoder fits perfectly as an outro to the song making many think they are vocals, but in reality it is a guitar in Self Control.

Blonde being the album’s title is used to entail how when one is a child and a teen their hair is bright and blond, but slowly as you grow older your hair darkens and life starts to become more gloomy. Night’s being the most popular song on the album has a famous beat switch in the end in which the song seems to switch colors completely. This beat switch is exactly at the half time mark of the entire album, being theorized that the first half of the album is more uplifting and brighter sounding, while the last half is darker and gloomy.

The ending track being ‘Futura Free’ in which Frank Ocean sings as if he is speaking to his mother and saying how he is finally famous now and feels he should be paying those who helped him reach this status instead of him being paid, he as well talks about the stress on gaining this fame, mentioning the famous late rapper ‘2pac’ saying he escaped the press, the stress. The song then switches to a rap verse with him talking about many troubles he went through while becoming an artist, ‘I ain’t had a job since 2009.’ He mentions his longtime friend Tyler, The Creator by saying ‘Tyler slept on my sofa’ showing how important his friends who stayed with him are.

 

Blonde is an album that will be spoken about for years and to me is considered the definition of a perfect paced album.

Blonde 10/10