Miista reviews: Blonde by Frank Ocean.
God, I missed you Frank. Every time I hear “Lost,” I see myself jogging in Miami where I lived at the time. Fresh out of college and definitely lost in thrill of it all.
But it was 4 years ago. I'm a different person now and so is Frank Ocean. Here's what he recently shared on his Tumblr account as a teaser od his upcoming album Blonde:
“Boys do cry, but I don’t think I shed a tear for a good chunk of my teenage years. It’s surprisingly my favourite part of life so far. Surprising, to me, because the current phase is what I was asking the cosmos for when I was a kid.”
Whereas Channel Orange covered controversial topics on drugs, pimps and modern ideas of representing the race, this time around Frank is an artist who is focusing on himself and favourite part of his life: teenage days. I felt in love right away with the second tune on the album "Ivy". This adorable number depicts his personal issues that have been on his mind, his failed relationship from the past. Releasing his inner demons he created one of the album’s most touching moments.
Although his recent work is less focused on what's happening outside Ocean's head, he has never been one to back away from controversial topics. “Nikes” the album’s stunning opening song and sole single, addresses the Trayvon Martin case:
An innocent kid brutally shot on the streets of Miami. The teenager went to a convenience store and purchased candy and a canned drink. He walked through a neighborhood that had been victimized by robberies several times that year. Moments after he was spotted by a neighbourhood watch volunteer and shot lorida teen was shot and killed with Skittles in his pocket.
Blonde features original songs most of which Ocean wrote himself. It takes a brilliant craftsman of a singer-songwriter to make a good record out of tunes stripped down just to his voice and words. You could say it focuses on a typical concern, recovering from heartbreak, but in his hands it ends up being en elevated message. A powerful one. More reflective album than his previous work suggests that he has matured over time.
“I’m not brave!” he shouts on "Siegfried" as if responding beforehand to those stating he did not live up to the hype. I think what he did with this album is actually quite ballsy. It's an amazing piece of music that takes repeated listens to be appreciated. Why rush, anyways? It will only disappoints people wanting an immediate joy from it. Although I must confess, I cried immediately the very first time I heard Ivy.
Very strong albums have been dropped since Frank's Orange. Yet with this quiet and powerful release of Blonde he did not lose his importance among the music leaders. What happened is, after his two first albums you couldn't place him nowhere on the music scene, this one finally draws a line. On one side I see Kanye, Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar with their strong, loud and unapologetic work. On the other one we have Kid Cudi, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean.
I already know which side I'm on:
Just swing by 67 Redchurch street to find out what music we're blasting from our Miista store!