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Frank Ocean: The Blonde Review

Nick Abraham, Entertainment Editor

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After 4 years of anticipation, Frank Ocean finally released his follow up to 2012’s Channel Orange. He began with a visual album entitled Endless, immediately followed with Blonde and rounded the presentation with one-off magazine called Boys Don’t Cry in late August.
Hearing all of the excitement surrounding this release, I decided to give my take on it.

The Bad:

Nikes: For an album opener, this track does not set a high standard for the rest of the album. It starts out with a mouse-style vocal effect on Ocean’s voice, which is irritating and doesn’t give the listener an idea of what his raw voice will sound like on the other tracks.
These effects strip his voice of its expressiveness and emotion. The instrumentals throughout the song feel uninteresting and too common. 4/10

White Ferrari: Following several interlude tracks, this song finally picks up the pace of the album, beginning similarly to many other tracks; quietly and with only a few keyboard and vocal parts. There is lots of vocal layering, which contradicts the lone acoustic guitar part.
This is one of the least interesting tracks on the album, as it feels like it’s dragging itself along. There is, however, a nice falsetto part at the end with a few added vocal effects. 5/10

The Good:

Nights: Following the Good Guy interlude, this tune has some of the most interesting instrumentals on all of Blonde. Accompanied by simple drum machines in the background, the alternation between an interesting mix of bells, acoustic guitar and an electric guitar part really draws attention to this track.
Later in the song, synths are added and the aforementioned instruments disappear cleanly from the mix.
Overall, Nights is very groovy and uses some of the most interesting instrumentals on the album. 9/10

Ivy: This tune starts off with a calm melody from Ocean’s low register and shimmering guitars in the background, setting a soothing tone.
The autotune is, for the most part, taken out of his voice, which allows him to express himself more effectively and gives the listener a chance to understand his emotions.
The whole song has a very stripped-down feel, as there is no percussion, solely Ocean’s voice, some guitars, and bass. 9/10

Tracklist:

  1. Nikes
  2. Ivy
  3. Pink + White ft. Beyonce
  4. Be Yourself
  5. Solo
  6. Skyline To ft. Kendrick Lamar
  7. Self Control
  8. Good Guy
  9. Nights
  10. Solo (Reprise)
  11. Pretty Sweet
  12. Facebook Story
  13. Close to You
  14. White Ferrari
  15. Seigfried
  16. Godspeed
  17. Futura Free
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Frank Ocean: The Blonde Review