A Comprehensive Review of Blond

FRANK OCEAN “BLOND” ALBUM REVIEW

Reviewed by Rally Telano
After four years, Frank Ocean has finally released another album following his debut album Channel Orange.

NIKES:
First Impression - "Nikes" has a Crystal Castles kind of vibe at the beginning of the song. The falsetto of the song is weird but in a unique way.
Listening to the Lyrics - "Nikes" discusses how much he hates materialism and superficiality but also the conflict he faces being in an industry where materialistic objects are so important. The video version of the song includes multiple voices feeding more into the ideas of conflict.

IVY:
First Impression - Really enjoy the beat- it’s very different from his past music, but is honestly gorgeous. As always, Frank Ocean's remarkable vocals shine through, reminding me of "Sober" by Childish Gambino. Though it is only the second song off the album, I think it might already be my favorite.
Listening to the Lyrics - First loves, making mistakes, and growing up. Simple and perfectly phrased into a song. Kudos to Ocean for describing a time in his life and making it relatable to most people.

PINK + WHITE:
First Impression - Very relaxing vibe. Sounds similar to old Kanye. Not feeling this song as much as the others, though. It's still good, but I am just not really feeling it. I wish Beyonce was featured more in this song than just backing vocals in the last verse.
Listening to the Lyrics - Could be referencing Pink Matter which is featured on Channel Orange. The song itself is about nothing going as planned and gradually getting worse.

BE YOURSELF:
First Impression - For some reason, I find this composition quite humorous and the beat in the background of the voicemail is also quite pretty.

SOLO:
First Impression - Really like this song, save for the weird beeping that occasionally pops up. Sounds like it would be on Channel Orange. This song is really pretty, something to fall asleep to- relaxing.
Listening to the Lyrics - Possibly a self-love song? To me, it's a “you do you and I will not judge you” kind of song, mainly because of the lyrics “I’m skipping showers and switching socks, sleeping good and long.”

SKYLINE TO:
First Impression - A sleepy song also until you listen to the lyrics. Has a super odd beat, and for some reason it reminds me of the original Willy Wonka movie.
Listening to the Lyrics - 90% sure this song is about drugs and romance but honestly, who cares? Do what you want unless it’s hurting you or someone else. Nice vocals, and a very interesting song.

SELF CONTROL:
First Impression - Wasn’t expecting the acoustic guitar, but this entire album is honestly a surprise.
Listening to the Lyrics - Ocean gets sadder after every verse. Just wants to be with this person and is rejected. Picture on the album could have been for this song specifically- who knows, though. I like the last verse with its mesmerizing voices reminiscent of a church choir.

GOOD GUY:
First Impression - Vocals sound as though they were recorded on Photobooth on a Mac or as a simple voice memo. I like how it doesn’t sound processed- it has a very raw sound to it. Sounds like a starting SoundCloud artist.
Listening to the Lyrics - I think this song is in referral to a man Ocean went on a date with in New York. This song and "Ivy" are my contenders for favorite songs on the album. A very short and quick song, but nice for contemplating thoughts at 3 in the morning.

NIGHTS:
First Impression - Has some aggression, then gradually becomes less tense and sadder as the song progresses.
Listening to the Lyrics - Obviously doesn’t care for the person the song is about anymore and just needed to use them while living in Houston. After 3:30 in the song, it sounds like two completely different pieces.

SOLO (REPRISE):
First Impression - Is this even a reprise? Sounds completely different- not even sure it’s the same lyrics? Very confused. Also, don’t really like this song. Do like the other Solo though. Really good flow though, shout out to Andre 3000 for that.
Listening to the Lyrics - Definitely somewhat of a diss track as stated “I was under the impression everyone wrote their own verse”. Actually like it a lot more now that I listened to the lyrics. More of a song you have to pay attention to than just jam out to.

PRETTY SWEET:
First Impression - Hard to hear the vocals as the beat overpowers his voice, which makes me kind of upset. I’ve never heard anything like this track.It’s extremely different. Kind of a ‘spooky’ song.
Listening to the Lyrics - Unsettling lyrics that make me actually worry. Really chaotic, INCREDIBLY different from the rest of the album. Honestly speechless after this one.

FACEBOOK STORY:
First Impression - Almost like a skit but not planned? Same kind of idea as "Be Yourself". Trying to show that the internet is an awful yet great place at the same time.

CLOSE TO YOU:
First Impression - Slow and very techno-eqsue.
Listening to Lyrics - Possibly about being left. Very upset about a relationship in his life.

WHITE FERRARI:
First Impression - Feel good song, but also not simultaneously? I don’t know how, just don’t question the man Frank Ocean.
Listening to the Lyrics - Incredible emotional depth. Genuinely heartbreaking lyrics. Being young and having your heart broken as stated, “16: how was I supposed to know?”

SEIGFRIED:
First Impression - Depressing and dramatic with the violin in the background. Extremely intelligent lyric writing.
Listening to the Lyrics - Apparently about Willy Cartier who Frank Ocean was rumored to have dated. Who knows and who cares? Obviously about being heartbroken again. Very heartfelt and caring “I’d do anything for you”.

GODSPEED:
First Impression - Sounds more like the Channel Orange songs. Very laidback.
Listening to the Lyrics - Very deep and meaningful. Obviously about an extremely important person in Frank’s life.

FUTURA FREE:
First Impression - This song is literally about ten minutes long but I’m not mad. Very fitting for an end of album song.
Listening to the Lyrics - Frank is talking about his life and experiences. It’s extremely powerful, in my opinion. He starts talking about artists of color that died at a young age like Tupac and Selena and how he relates to them, thinking that’s how he will inevitably go.

Overall, this album is one of the best and most empowering albums I’ve ever listened to. It’s so different and unique from any other record I’ve heard, and is almost like an entire film in itself. Anyways I would like to thank Frank Ocean and everyone else who worked on this amazing piece of art it is seriously so incredibly amazing. Never stop doing what you’re doing.

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