REVIEW: Frank Ocean covers all angles of love in ‘Blonde’

Staff Writer Cole Gamache writes that Frank Oceans Blonde can be enjoyed by anyone as it explores love in many different contexts, from materialism and self-love to relationships and acquaintances.


Staff Writer Cole Gamache writes that Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’ can be enjoyed by anyone as it explores love in many different contexts, from materialism and self-love to relationships and acquaintances.

Cole Gamache, Staff Writer

As Valentine’s Day rounds the corner, one way people celebrate the holiday is with music.  There are so many love songs out there, yet some may argue they can all sound the same and mainstream. Single people may not even want to hear these songs as they are often so similar and cheesy.

This is where the album “Blonde” by Frank Ocean is different. Ocean tells the story of all sides of love: the good, the bad, jealousy and even self-love. This range is what makes this album so impactful.

The album features 17 tracks with no credited features. This is huge because a lot of Ocean’s peers rely on features to bring more listeners to an album; however, there are still other artists on the album they just aren’t credited. 

The album starts with the infamous track “Nikes”, which includes Ocean’s voice at a higher pitch to start the song. This song addresses the idea that materialistic items are damaging and pointless. As the album plays through you eventually get to listen to “Pink+White,” which is a song about love, not so much romantically, yet more about love for one that’s passed and recalling the lessons given to him. Shortly after that track comes the track titled “Self Control.” “Self Control” can be considered a slow love ballad about a relationship that is slowly falling apart. 

My favorite song is the ninth track: “Nights.” This song has so much meaning behind the lyrics, but also the structure of the instrumental. The song is about the highs and lows of a certain relationship Frank has experienced. One of the most impactful moments is 3 minutes into the song, there seems to be a breakdown guitar rift. Then at 3:30, the whole song completely changes to a type of psychedelic ballad with the same mentions of the relationship. Yet this 3:30 mark also marks 30 minutes of the album so far. Ocean marked this shift on purpose as the rest of the album is in a chaotic yet sweet and light mood. He does so much with the power of emotions directed through sound and words themselves.

The album also includes tracks that aren’t songs at all but more of an interlude. The track titled “Facebook Story” is audio of a man with a thick French accent telling a story of how his ex-girlfriend got jealous because he wouldn’t accept her on Facebook. His argument was “I don’t need to accept you. I am right in front of you every day, and that virtual means nothing”. The girlfriend thought he was cheating and broke up with him. Another track that changed the mood is track 14,  “White Ferrari,” which features Ocean’s beautiful voice and range and ends in a soft and sweet tone.

Released on Aug. 20, 2016, “Blonde” was Ocean’s second studio album. “Blonde” did not win any Grammys, unfortunately, as the album wasn’t submitted by Ocean’s label. 

While the love concept for this album could relate to so many albums of all genres, Ocean took that idea a step further and covered all aspects of love, both relationships and acquaintances. I think those who really can appreciate the thought behind lyrics and instrumental context can appreciate this album. It definitely has been an impactful one for me and my high school years.

Where is Frank Ocean now, has he released any other projects recently? Has he done anything further with this project or maybe a separate one? 

Well… No. Ocean has only released singles since 2017 and even canceled the release of his upcoming vinyl release of a single. Nonetheless, I’m hopeful that Ocean will someday release a project as beautiful as “Blonde.”