Frank Ocean // Blonde

Categories:  Music    Music Reviews
Wednesday, August 31st, 2016 at 10:30 AM
Frank Ocean // Blonde by Nick Warren

Frank Ocean

Blonde

Boys Don’t Cry

4.5/5 stars

Four years ago, Frank Ocean released his debut album Channel Orange, which went on to be one of the most widely acclaimed albums of the 21st century. After crossing vast seas to live up to the hype, he’s made it. Blonde (accompanied by the exquisite visual album, Endless Love) retains a relaxed demeanor, while still smoldering with emotion underneath. The epic, 17-track R&B album begins with “Nikes,” featuring Ocean’s voice pitched up an octave for the hook, as he uses the shoes as a metaphor for misguided excess. “Ivy” includes a Mac Demarco-like chorus, rolling out a parade of guest star producers starting with Jamie XX (a match made in Pitchfork heaven). Pink + White features vocals by an uncredited Beyoncé, produced by Pharrell Williams. Several songs use streamlined accompaniment, with just keys (“Good Guy”) or guitars (“Self Control”). One of the definite high points is “Solo (Reprise),” featuring a spectacular verse by Outkast’s Andre 3000. After coming out in a 2012 open letter (days before Orange was released), Ocean addresses his sexuality most artfully by not addressing it, replacing the pronouns, while owing nothing to anyone. – Nick Warren

Erie Reader: Vol. 6, No. 24
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IN THIS ISSUE

Local politicians Breneman and Brennan unite to engage the community and combat Erie’s east side blight.

 

Erie stands with Standing Rock 

Barbara and Julian Stanczak at Mercyhurst University’s Cummings Gallery

Erie will become a “Broadway Christmas Wonderland” for just one night.

Australian musician Joe Robinson will play a special performance for one night only at PACA.

Black America Again addresses many social issues that tie into one overall message: freedom. 

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Standing in solidarity with communities targeted in the 2016 election. 

Aqueous returns to the Kings Rook Club fresh off the release of a new album and heavy touring.

The Mercyhurst Dance Department will perform ’Tis the Season, featuring “The Nutcracker Suite.”