Blonde: An Album Worth Our Forgiveness

Staff writer: Lani Yun

Blonde: An Album Worth Our Forgiveness

In case you’ve been off the grid for the past month and have a couple questions as to why there’s been such a ruckus in the musical world, the only answer I can give you is because Christopher Edwin Breaux decided to drop a new album. Now, for those not familiar with his formal name, you may know of the artist as “Frank Ocean”, a musical legend in the R&B community and two time Grammy winner.

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Frank Ocean

For our generation, August 20th of 2016 will forever be remembered as the day Frank Ocean blessed us with not only one album release but also a visual album exclusive to iTunes that came out one day before.  While his fans were extremely pleased with the album, “Blonde”, and his visual album, “Endless”, he also caused a mass chaos in the world of social media and sent his entire fan base into a state of shock by dropping new music with no precautions. Apps like Snapchat and Instagram were practically blowing up with the opinions of shocked fans while social/musical news sites such as Buzzfeed and Rolling Stone scrambled to cover the album and land interviews.

As if two albums weren’t enough, Ocean also took the liberty of setting up pop-up shops in four different locations around the U.S. (Chicago, Los Angeles, New York) and the U.K. (London). Fans from all over were showing their support and enthusiasm as they picked up the “Boys Don’t Cry” package. The gift consisted of his second version/physical copy of “Blonde” and a magazine created by Frank himself which featured many other great artists such as Kanye West, Wolfgang Tillmans and others.

At this point, you may still have questions as to why a new album is such a big deal. Well, that’s because the last time we got any new music from Mr. Ocean was four years ago in 2012 when he released “Channel Orange”, which was nominated for 6 different Grammy’s. Since then he has popped up in a few different places, such as Kanye West’s album “The Life of Pablo” where an entire track was dedicated to Frank singing acapella style. Ocean even took some leisurely time to go street racing with his buddies A$AP rocky and Tyler the Creator and while it seemed Frank was having fun during his time off, some fans weren’t too pleased with his shenanigans. After the video was released through Snapchat, fans sent out tweets saying things like “So Frank has time to street race but not drop an album???”, and while the comments seem a bit harsh, it is understandable since Frank left his fans hanging for so long. Not to mention Ocean’s multiple release date extensions, there were many dates the artist had set to put out the music but ended up pushing all of them back for unknown reasons.

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Frank and Tyler, The Creator performing together

As for album details, the entire album lasts exactly an hour and there are 17 tracks on his new record “Blonde”. Although not every track is Frank singing, in fact there is a part in the playlist that resembles a voicemail left by a “concerned mother” that lasts a minute and 26 seconds. The woman states “do not smoke marijuana, stay away from alcohol, do not get in the car with alcohol… this is mom, call me, bye” While the message may mean something deeper, one would just assume it’s a mother doing a motherly thing, though the voice is not actually Ocean’s mom. The woman’s name is Rosie Watson, who is the mother of one of Frank’s friends, Jonathan and just as Ms. Watson was featured, Ocean also featured other artists such as Andre 3000, Beyoncé, and more. Overall, both albums have been a huge success for Frank and we hope to get more from him in the near future.

 

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