Following a year of teasing and months of a delayed rollout since the start of August, the long-awaited album from Frank Ocean, Blonde, has finally be released.
Prior to the release of the album, which had missed its original release date and left fans in despair, Ocean had started a live stream on his official website that had set the Internet ablaze with interest, adoration and confusion. On the first of August, a looped 45-minute video was available on the website for fans to watch, which served as a prelude to the album. Entitled Endless, the video was described as a visual art form showing Ocean working in a warehouse studio with then-unknown songs playing in the background – fans were sceptical but nonetheless hopeful for something more.
Originally titled Boys Don’t Cry, Ocean had teased fans back in 2015 with a publication that would be released in New York, London, L.A and Chicago along with the album– but had said no further on the news. Following the release of Blonde however, the publication had become available for fans to snatch up, and it visually did not disappoint – with poems and writings from the heart and soul of Ocean. Perhaps that’s why it’s taken so long for everything to be revealed. He had a lot to say.
Upon listening for the first time, anyone can tell that Ocean’s pushed beyond boundaries to create not just an album, but rather a story to follow. From the freshly released Nikes, which had debuted with a stunning music video, which pays homage to the late Trayvon Martin, to White Ferrari, which talks of lost and broken love, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. With 17 tracks to enjoy and a long list of contributors that include the like of Beyoncé and James Blake, it’s no wonder that everyone is falling in love with Ocean’s eerie yet mesmerising voice like it’s Channel Orange circa 2012 all over again.
The most magical part of the album is definitely the short message delivered by his mom, who says ‘Be yourself and know that that’s good enough’, which brings out emotions recalling a non-existent lost love or an uncertainty that bubbles up through the throat. Blonde, personal and impersonal, enjoyable and totally relatable, is a reflection of Ocean’s fearless and forward thinking reputation that in turn is simply a reflection of modern-day young love and life.
Following the release of the album, Ocean had shared with fans a message indicating his thanks for their patience, love, and support. “I had the time of my life making all of this. Thank you all. Especially those of you who never let me forget I had to finish. Which is basically every one of y’all. Haha. Love you.”
It was worth definitely worth the wait.