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Frank Ocean: Blonde Review PART 2

It’s been a minute since the last article…it’s taking me as long as it took Frank Ocean to release his album. Part 3 will be done soon too though I promise guys. Now on to the review…

Be Yourself is used to segway into a different lyrical aspect in Solo. In this track, Ocean discusses the pros and cons of being single. While he does miss being in a relationship, and he has difficulties coping with being alone, he does want to be single in order to be ‘free.’ At first he’s trying to cope with not having anyone there for him emotionaly but in the second verse he discusses wanting to leave the relationship he’s in. It’s not clear whether this is a character or based on a real time in his life, it’s more likely that it’s based on a character he’s created for the song. Frank Ocean delivers a performance blending rap and singing over a very soothing church organ track. Again Ocean keeps the track simple, yet he delivers a very powerful song that mnay people can do. Most people would use just an acoustic guitar or piano and it would sound like every other ‘ballad’ but Ocean makes it a really beautiful song. The next track is very similar and is titled Skyline To. While it has more than just one instrument, it’s still very stripped down, calm and almost trance like. The lyrics are a lot simpler, and they discuss different things to do on his spare time with a friend or a significant other. 

Now, probably my most favorite track on the album, we have Self Control. First off, the vocals on this track are so powerful they can move a person to tears. Not to mention that lyrics are very relatable in that he’s reminiscing about someone who he was really in love with. Ocean performs these unforgettable vocals joined by Austin Feinstein’s deep vocals. The guitar in the background is also Austin Feinstein, who has performed on tracks for Tyler, The Creator as well. The track has a combination of regular and high pitched vocals that blend well. Ocean also harmonizes over his own vocals adding a dimensionality to the track that can give any listener chills. For the most part the song is talking about hoping that everything will be okay between two people that are no longer together. Its very sweet and very touching. It has burned itself into my brain and im glad that it has. 

Good Guy serves as a segway into nights which is a fuller track with more than just stripped down guitars and heay vocals. Nights kinda describes Ocean, or a character, just enjoying life as being young and single. The track has a very airy, spacey, effect over it taht makes it sound as if its a very old demo. That, however, just adds to the tone of the song and makes it more emotional. The track now has a sense of nostalgia almost because of how it sounds. For the mot part, the album itself brings on a sense of nostalgia. Andre 3000’s track however, Solo (Reprise), which is the next song kinda breaks away from the tone of the album. Its a simple piano beat with a very fast vocal delivery by 3000. The song talks about his dissapointments with whats going on the world and how cruel it can be to the human soul. Towards the end it turns into a criticism of the music industry and how upset he is tat he likes songs that weren’t even written by the artist that sings it. While it’s not the best track on the album, it still is a very strong track. 

We then go back into Frank Ocean’s vocals with the song Pretty Sweet which is a very motivational and inspirational track if you really listen to it and take in the lyrics. The song is based aorund Ocean’s happiness at the moment; his happiness with himself and who he is. He does care whether people try to knock him down or bring him down because he is who he is and no one can change that. It’s a track that promotes happiness and self awareness. The beat and vocals are very strange, if that’s the right word. They have layers of effects and they have this psychedelic-spacey tone that could be off putting to some but is honestly amazing if you think about the artistry. At the end you have what seems to be either a childrens choir or maybe women, but they finish the song with the last verse…

 

 

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