Blond Review


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Frank Ocean’s long-awaited follow-up to 2012’s Channel Orange is an eclectic and expansive piece of music. Combining elements of diverse genres such as psychedelic rock, funk and electronica, Blonde is one of the most impressive sophomore albums in recent memory. Ocean takes the formula that made Channel Orange so successful and adds to it. Blonde features more instruments, more samples and more effects, resulting in an atmospheric and rich sounding album.

Ocean cements himself as one of the most versatile and skilled lyricists in modern hip-hop with this record. Songs like “Ivy,” “Solo (Reprise)” and “Seigfried” showcase Ocean’s ability to craft lyrics that are meaningful and poetic. Ultimately, Blonde shows that Ocean is just as skilled a lyricist as rap legends such as Ice Cube and Notorious B.I.G.

The production value of the album is clean and crisp, which accentuates the layers of samples and effects on the songs. Blonde features a team of 12 producers, each lending their unique skills and styles to the feel of the album. It also helps that the record has 17 songs to capture the diverse interests of the producers and featured artists.

Blonde is most impressive as a chronicle of its era. The album’s lyrics encapsulate what it’s like to be young in 2016. Themes of social media, relationships and the disillusionment of youth combine to create a piece of art that may be the album of the generation. Ocean also comments on many of today’s social issues, such as police violence and politics.

Ultimately, Blonde is satisfying and well-made. Frank Ocean compensates for the long wait with an album that is complex and engaging.