Review: ‘Blond’

Eden Amberber, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Frank Ocean is back and better than ever. This R&B singer, rapper and songwriter definitely proved to his long-awaiting fans that his new album, “Blond,” was worth the wait. His last release, “Channel Orange,” is now four years old. “Blond” already feels like a transcending classic.

Ocean maintains his tranquil, almost psychedelic, musical style adored by his fans. There are many references to gender nonconformity and his bisexuality throughout the album. His album is spelled two different ways, “Blond” on the album cover and “Blonde” on iTunes and other music streaming websites. Blond is a noun for males, whereas blonde refers to a woman. “Blond” is an abstract of Ocean’s life, a mysterious and nostalgic beauty.

The album’s mostly beatless tracks create a feeling of ambiance and loneliness. The lyrics let listeners feel deeply rooted in the ups and downs of Ocean’s life. In the track “Self Control,” Ocean describes the space left by an ex now gone. It’s intimate. Ocean is lost and confused. He longs for a place in his ex’s new relationship. The intriguing poetry leaves listeners lost in Ocean’s serene voice. “Keep a place for me, for me,” Ocean sings. This heartbroken ballad is one of his very best. It’s a prime illustration of Ocean’s talents and an example of the vocals and wonderment we have been longing for since 2012. 

Although fans love Ocean’s inclusion of personal moments in his music, some of these clips are inserted as separate tracks. These tracks are long and easy to skip after first listen. “Blond” includes two interludes, “Facebook Story” and “Be Yourself.” They are vocal clips, both over a minute long, of individuals delivering warnings and opinionated messages to listeners. Even though these messages are intriguing, I would prefer these clips be attached to songs so they could be listened to more often.

Overall, “Blond” was marvelous. The music’s production, Ocean’s tone and the intimate display on this album has yet again put Ocean on top.