By: Ben Wagg –
What is Blonde? With a zine, a last minute name change, and one visual album later, the importance of the music can start to feel obscured. After four years of hype, Frank Ocean can be regarded as a mythic figure regardless of what the album actually is. He won’t have to rely on hype or status however, because the album is an experimental pop accomplishment.
It’s a weird and challenging album. Blonde boasts a few hooks on intro tracks like “Nikes” and “Ivy” before descending into lengthier, less structured songs. Ocean opens the album by crooning a stream of consciousness filtered through chipmunk soul over a moody R&B beat. He quickly condemns materialism and opts to mine the challenges of his relationships. ‘These bitches want Nikes/ They looking for a check/ Tell em it ain’t likely’ he taunts. These lyrics present Ocean’s reverence of craft over money…
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