I have never considered myself the kind of person that listens to hip-hop, rap, R&B, or soul. However, as of late it has been growing on me. Blonde is a solid mix of all the above genres with a dose of atmospheric pop and experimental in the mix.
Fans of Frank Ocean have been eagerly waiting to hear more from him since his last release in 2012, and he prolongs the wait till halfway through his first track. The introduction to the album is an autotuned, dressed up voice, which Frank’s own undisguised lyrics follow. Apparently the four year wait has been well worth it though, as Ocean dropped a visual album, this album, a magazine, and music videos, all within two days.
Frank avoids a formulaic pop approach to the album and instead opts for a delivery that is irregular and unexpected. The hook on Frank Ocean’s second track “Ivy” doesn’t repeat itself like you want it to. You hear it once and it echoes within you for the rest of the song. The power of it is that he repeats his chorus but never delivers it the same way again.
This is the case for most of Blonde. The album is a genre-bending work of art — if you love categories and structure, avoid this record. Ocean has created a work that is personal and unstructured up close, but altogether masterful and precise as a whole.