An Honest Review of Frank Ocean's Blond
Frank Ocean got us watching a livestream of an empty room at 3:23 a.m. Who let this man get so much power? - @ImnotMessican
I read this tweet at the crack of dawn and had a good chuckle, retweeted the post, and moved through the rest of the trending topic tweets. But later on I actually thought about that question. When did we let Frank Ocean get this much power?
This past weekend, Frank delivered two albums to us. One "visual" album, "Endless" and the other an actual album with a track listing and the ability to skip around titled "Blond."
Today's post will only be about Blond. We'll discuss Endless on another day.
On my quiet Sunday afternoon, I put on my headphones to get a full experience. Frank just feels like one of those artists you do that for. I listened from beginning to end in one session. My very first thought? "It's fine." My second thought? "What did I expect from this album based on Channel Orange?" There's a reason for that question.
Let's take a step back.
It's July 2012. I'm in the midst of my Tumblr obsession. And Tumblr is losing its shit. There's no other way to phrase that. It is the summer of Channel Orange. It is the summer of "Thinkin Bout You," a huge single that left everyone excited for an album. The love is so large on Tumblr. There are all of the graphics and all of the quotables. I had to listen to it. I needed to understand.
My first thoughts? I don't get it. It's cool, but I don't get it. Six months later, Channel Orange is on my iPod. Six months after that I'm interning in Gainesville, Florida, sitting at a bus stop listening to "Super Rich Kids", and I finally get it. I truly connect and understand the love for Channel Orange everyone else had a year ago. Channel Orange is a work of art.
Fast forward to today.
I listened to Blond again. I honestly didn't not like any song on the album, with the exception of Futura Free. I could do without that song. Godspeed is a piece of heaven, and for me right now the best song on the album. Solo, which is just Andre 3000, is everything, but I don't really count it. Every other song I liked well enough to put on my phone, but not well enough to remember what any of these songs sounded like. If you would've asked me first thing this morning about the album, I wouldn't have much to say. I could barely remember it, and I didn't know if I liked it but it wasn't bad. That makes no sense.
Reviews have been polarizing. People either really love it or really hate it. I found it hard to create an opinion. Is this Channel Orange all over again? In a year am I going to be head over heels in love with the album? I don't know.
The Frank Ocean experience for me is a confusing one. Everything seems to come slowly for me. And I think I just need to keep trying it at different times. I'm listening to it now and am honestly liking it more than I did the last time I listened.
I'm not sure this was the album I was waiting for. But I'm also not upset for receiving this (very late) gift from Frank. Time is going to tell with me, so I'll continue to walk the line between like and forget it.
What are your thoughts? Like it? Hate it? Think you need to give it up some time? Let me know in the comments below.