By: Obinna Esomchukwu
It has been over a month since Frank Ocean released his much anticipated sophomore studio album, Blond. The album was initially titled, Boys Don’t Cry but was released under a different moniker. However, Boys Don’t Cry became the title of the zine released simultaneously with Blonde. As if the album and the zine were not enough, F.O.(as I like to call him) followed up with a visual album, Endless, exclusive on Apple Music.
Blond is an amalgamation of simple synthetic and acoustic sonics, which makes it very easy to listen to. F.O tackled a broad range of themes: materialism, racism, relationships, rejection, loneliness, drug and weed addiction, sex, sexuality, fame, and religion.
Excluding the skits, Blond has 15 tracks, which includes an interlude by Andre 3000, Solo Reprise (Track 10). Beyonce, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and Pharrell Williams are some of the artists listed as contributors to the album.
The album has only two skits: Be Yourself and Facebook Story. The former, is a voice message from Rosie Watson, the mother of one of F.O’s childhood friends. She vehemently advises her son on the dangers of peer pressure in college and the deleterious effect of weed and alcohol addiction. Most of us have received this kind of sermon from our mom (or dad). Moms around the world would be happy to know there is now a mp3 version of their classic speech! Thanks to F.O. and Rosie Watson of course.
Facebook Story is a true tale narrated by SebastiAn, a music producer. According to him, a relationship with his girlfriend ended abruptly because he would not accept her friend request on Facebook. He tried to explain to her that, Facebook was virtual and their relationship was real enough. After all, he spent most of his time with her. Unfortunately, she did not share the same position and accused him of cheating. Morale of the story? Accept her Facebook friend request, update your status as; ‘in a relationship with…’ and live happily ever after!
Self Control is my favourite track on the album. Yung Lean and Austin Feinstein sang the chorus. The song is a narrative of someone F.O loves and admires. However, the person is in a relationship with someone else. Frank expresses his lack of self control by asking if they could have sex. Besides being very visceral, this song makes use of two of my best music instruments an acoustic, and bass guitar; making it the perfect chill-tune.
Overall, Frank Ocean displayed amazing vocal versatility. Every song had a theme, carried along a different ambiance,and created a scenery, which was not always picturesque but certainly a part of his reality. With that said, I would not recommend this album to an F.O. virgin. I would rather you listen to, Nostalgia, Ultra a.k.a Intro. to Frank. Nostalgia Ultra is a perfect way to till your ears for the Frank Ocean wave.
Did I enjoy listening to this album? Yes I did, thoroughly! Would I listen to it in a car (if I owned one)? Perhaps, not. Would I listen to it when I am laid back at home chilling? Definitely, all day!
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