Frank ocean returns with new album "blond"
by sarah quinones, '19
Back at it again with the blonde hair. In this spontaneous album, Frank Ocean makes a splash back into the world of R&B/Hip-Hop just after 4 years. His new album “Blond”, released on August 20, 2016, proves that great works of musicality take time. “Blond” features some new works and repetitions that most R&B/Hip-Hop artists are afraid to try. Before this short 4 year break, Frank Ocean released his album “Channel Orange”, which won the “Grammy Award for Album of the Year” in 2012. Looking back at his past work, it’s no surprise that “Blond”, was #1 in the US Billboard 200 and in the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Billboard.
Ocean dropped his album with the release of his hit single “NIKES”, incorporating some unique usage of sound effects as well as a change of pitch. The song may seem a bit annoying when first listening to it, due to the chipmunk version of Ocean playing from your speakers; but once you get past the initial shock, the amount of chills you get when he reveals his real voice, is staggering. Ocean raps about the culture of the world we live in today, with mentions of Trayvon Martin in lines,
“These chicks want Nikes
They looking for a check
Tell em it ain't likely
Said she need a ring like Carmelo
Must be on that white like Othello
All you want is Nikes
But the real ones just like you
Just like me”
“RIP Trayvon, that man look just like me”
Frank Ocean expresses his take on the culture we live in today including the flaws and problems with the mentality of the people we live with. Not only is this a controversial song with strong opinions, but the music video was deemed visually stunning. This music video inlcuded images of how tennagers are perseved in todays society, as well as social acceptance within the little social bubble of what tennagers have set for one another. After all Ocean is known for his unique outlook on things, disobeying social queues and prevailing rules of genre and sexuality.
As for the rest of the album, us as fans, get a glimpse of Frank Ocean’s love life. We get to feel Ocean’s compassionate side in his song “Ivy”, where he expresses his happiness towards his lover who he wishes to have a connection with again. “Ivy” also includes some unique rhythmic patterns as well as a good use of different musical repetitions.
“Blond” was a musical way to introduce the “new” Frank Ocean. After 4 years we have to do some catching up, and that’s exactly what he did. The new and improved version of Ocean seems to be content with himself, with a new outlook on life and a fresh new sound, Ocean has taken the world by storm. “Blond” isn’t just any R&B/Hip-Hop album with a strong bass that will blow your speakers, but includes some musical patterns and repetitions that most artists are afraid to do. This isn’t just some basic album, there’s meaning, emotion and musical skill behind it. Even if you aren’t into R&B/Hip-Hop music, this album is a must listen to. Congratulations Ocean, you came out of the hole you’ve been under for 4 years, and when you showed yourself, we saw someone we couldn’t recognize, someone with a fresh new sound and look.