Frank Ocean Returns

After a long wait Frank Ocean fans like myself have been desperately waiting for new music from the talented artist (he's been playing too many games bruh! lol) and my prayers were answered on Friday morning when I woke to news that he had dropped visual album "Endless" during the night. I sat up ready for the next 45-minutes of new Frank Ocean music and the ball kept on rolling from there. The visual for "Nikes" came out the next day and then the long awaited album "Blonde" which we were all expecting as 'Boys Don't Cry', finally came out on Saturday night, happy days! There's a physical copy he released in pop-up stores with a different track list to the streamed copy on Apple Music, but you can check out both track lists below.

The team here at 94Five are gonna give you our initial thoughts on the album/s, keep in mind these are a 'first glance' type of opinion because we think it's only fair to truly judge a whole project after giving it time to resonate and understand it. 

Frank Ocean 'Boys Don't Cry' Zine with limited version of Album "Blonde".

Frank Ocean 'Boys Don't Cry' Zine with limited version of Album "Blonde".

"My Initial thoughts after hearing 'Blonde' the whole way through and then repeating a couple of the bangers that hit me instantly, is that it is all I would have wanted it to be. The Album sonically transcends genre boundaries and the lyrics feel as though he is the voice of a generation. They are beautiful, honest, creative and at times blunt and his level of creativity has heightened even further from his first album in my opinion, because of the variety of music that is provided in this album. As for 'Endless' I was admittedly not super excited by the visual, it was interesting and done well in terms of editing and filming, but to me, it was not what I would've wanted, I'd have preferred a visual album that had more detailed videos for each track, more like "Nikes", put together in a cinematic way to create a full length 45 min video. However, I was moved by many of the songs, most notably 'Wither' with Jazmine Sullivans insanely beautiful riffing in the back, which vocally showed Frank Ocean at his best. I am by no way disappointed by the new releases, even if they weren't what I expected and he just keeps on getter better. His creativity and artistic execution is commendable and I respect him for focusing on the art and uncommonly shying away from the media. It's the music that makes us feel so much. Thats what matters."

“I was unsure of what to expect from Frank Ocean and this new album “Blonde”. Personally I had grown impatient and was beginning to lose interest with the false release dates, rumours and no shows. I guess I’m on the road to recovery now. “Blonde” sonically sits well next to “Channel Orange”, I feel like there’s a progression from his previous album (Which I've been listening to for the past four years!), progression is something I always look for. The psychedelic sounds and the lyricism which I know will give me many of those - oh that’s what he meant moments, which is something  I’ve missed, especially from an R&B artist. However, that feeling where you find a song that hits you wasn’t there for me in my first listen, maybe the settings have to be different, I’m not too sure what it is. “Blonde”  will be given time to resonate, that’s for sure. A couple months down the line I’ll probably be preaching to my friends about it, but for the moment, the excitement is reserved.”

Visual Album "Endless"

Visual Album "Endless"

"Can we take a breather for a second, and just appreciate what this is. Frank has continued to amaze me as a fan, the melodies, the harmonies, the lyrics and the instrumentation, it's indescribable. If I'm honest, when I heard the news of  "Endless" I was excited for what I was going to hear but once the 45-minute visual album played through I wasn't as ecstatic as I thought I'd be (apart from a couple tracks that hit me). Even though I was somewhat dissatisfied with "Endless" I knew his album would still be what is was supposed to be, 'incredible' and from my first listen it's just that, a soundscape of perfect imperfection. Maybe you could say I'm biased as I'm a Frank Ocean fan but you can't deny the feelings this album takes you through and, the heights and lows you reach, Frank has pushed the envelope again. His lyrical ability is unmatched, the way he connects lines or punctuates simplicities that many of us have gone through, Frank allows us to see the brighter shades of what may be a difficult subject matter, without saying too much. For once I feel inspired for the first time in a while."

Blonde Physical Copy Track List
1. Pretty Sweet
2. Mitsubishi Sony
3. Ivy
4. Pink & White
5. Solo
6. Easy
7. Skyline To
8. Night.s
9. White Ferrari
10. Seigfried
11. Godspeed
12. Futura Free

Blonde Streaming Track List
1. Nikes
2. Ivy
3. Pink + White – features vocals by Beyoncé
4. Be Yourself
5. Solo
6. Skyline To – features vocals by Kendrick Lamar
7. Self Control
8. Good Guy
9. Nights
10. Solo (Reprise) – features vocals by André 3000
11. Pretty Sweet
12. Facebook Story – features vocals by Sebastian
13. Close to You
14. White Ferrari
15. Seigfried
16. Godspeed – features vocals by Kim Burrell
17. Futura Free