Are you still trying to figure out if it is Blonde or Blond? The controversy over whether it is masculine or feminine could actually revolve around a deeper meaning foreshadowing his project. Maybe the singer-songwriter intended for the artwork of his album to be called Blond and the project to be called Blonde; an internal embodiment of who he is organically. Just a few days ago, we covered the release of Frank Ocean’s long-awaited album release with a brief synopsis of the project and feature mentions. Blonde is a 17-track lyrical dialogue with a brilliant amount of emotional waves and triumphs. You can’t rush Frank nor digesting his work because he is a story-teller, a visionist and a folklore artist who delivers unconventional songs through R&B.
If you have been following the Long Beach native since he was with the hip-hop collective, Odd Future, you knew after he grabbed a songwriting deal he would be collaborating with other artists. Maybe for 4 years he was not solely working on his project but brewing up some hits with other industry taste makers. The album features influential elements of Kanye West, The Beach Boys, The Beatles and Prince. The collaborative efforts and amount of talent featured on Blonde is astronomical. Frank orchestrated musicians with an expansive musical background from France, Sweden to the UK and beyond to work on Blonde. If you are into gospel or EDM, adding Kim Burrell and Sebastian on vocals added an interesting dynamic to the newly independent artist project.
Frank gave us Nostalgia, Ultra mixtape (“Novacane”), Channel Orange (“Thinkin Bout You”) and now Blonde as his follow up. Here are two tracks aside from his single “Nikes” you can look forward to:
“Pink + White”
What a smash! Beast Producers Tyler, The Creator , Pharrell Williams and Beyoncé iconic melodic vocals takes your mind far away before you could even start listening to Frank. After coming off a music high, you then replay it to hear his lyrical composition discussing life in mortality and human nature. He drops Michael Jackson and Teddy Pendergrass who both passed a year apart. This song felt too short because it was that good and it urges you to press repeat once more.
The legendary ATLien, André 3000 waste no time giving us the bars over classic piano riffs and a peculiar punch of 4 bars of modern hip-hop sounds. Touching on police brutality and killings to the misconfiguring of what being real means to some women. Clearly Frank wasn’t the only one observing. Honestly, the hip-hop vet could be referring to anyone in mainstream music when he mentions, “After 20 years in, I’m so naive, I was under the impression that everyone wrote they own verses….. I’m hummin’ and whistlin’ to those not deserving.”
Is “Solo (Reprise)” a spin off of “Solo?” Absolutely, or as Frank would say, “Rolling Solo”. The message gathered from both the selection and reprise is, it doesn’t matter if others are doing something trendy you can be cool doing non-distractive things by yourself even if it takes you being “Solo.” The organ accents the atmosphere of the song, like a lyrical testimony to his independence.
Blonde will leave you in your head for a while.
All the Ocean lovers can purchase the full album on itunes which includes a video album released exclusively called “Endless.”
Written By: Keandra “Ke’Ke” Scott