Frank Ocean’s album release event deserves much more than a hot take. Two weeks after dropping his proper sophomore album Blonde, the follow-up to 2012’s Channel Orange (and middle finger to Def Jam if you will), unpacking all the nuances and double meanings on the project still prove difficult.
Much like the poetic license Ocean took on Orange, it may take a lifetime to understand the deeply personal 17-track offering. Here, the artist formerly known as Lonny Breaux is an auditory Michelangelo again, painting visuals that sometimes fly over folks’ heads. It’s not so much a flaw as it is his greatest strength. Where his vocals falter, he makes up with the pen game of a dreamer; a guy whose seclusion allows him the distraction-less creative space to make sense of his world.
On his insufferably long-awaited LP, the famously reclusive star allows us to peer into what we’ve missed. Peeling back more layers of his romantic life (both unrequited and uninhibited), drug-induced adventures and dizzying trips of nostalgia, Ocean leaves everything on wax (which begs if he’s going on another long hiatus).
Let’s face it: The major key to understanding Ocean is to realize you won’t always know what the f*ck he’s talking about but loving when and where you can relate. As with any art, especially his, it can be interpreted in many ways.
Here’s what we took away from the collection of songs on Ocean’s Blonde.