Review: Frank Ocean releases new album

by Life Editor Monday Sanderson

Frank Ocean made it into the mainstream music scene with his first studio album “Channel Orange,” in 2012. His fans have been waiting for a new album since then, and they received their wish Aug. 20 with his album “Blonde.”

I have only heard a few of his top charting songs from his first album, such as “Thinkin Bout You” and “Pyramids.” I like the songs I have heard, but I do not consider myself a fan. I listened to this album with no high or low expectations.

For most of the songs, Ocean or another writer wrote the lyrics well. They told a story and made the listener pay attention. After listening to all of the songs and looking up the lyrics, I can tell most of them come from personal experience.

Some of the tracks, which had those personal meanings, were not songs. “Be Yourself” is a voice message from the mom of one of Ocean’s childhood friends. The recording’s main message is to “don’t try to be someone else.”

However, with some of the songs and tracks, I could not tell what the lyrics were because of the production of the music.

In the song “Nikes,” the first song on the album, the song was so auto tuned, I could not tell what he was singing. I only heard a few snippets like, “RIP Trayvon” and “Now that’s a real mermaid.” I had to look up the lyrics online in order to determine what the rest was.

Despite the producers making one or two of the songs too auto tuned, the others had melodies and instrumentals that made me want to listen to them over again.

The song “Pink + White” is one of my favorites because the drums and piano work together to create an even beat that kept me listening. It also helped that whenever Ocean sang, the beat emphasized the lyrics. The combination of both the voice and instruments made it an enjoyable listen.

“Solo,” the fifth song on the album, is another one of my favorites because of the instrument and voice combination. Ocean’s voice was smooth and melodic and matched the beat perfectly.

The other songs on the album did not fit my taste though. They never held my attention long and I forgot their name soon after listening to them.

Overall, I would prefer to listen to his first album rather than his second. The first album fits my taste in music better than the second. However, I can see why some people would want to buy this album.

Some songs samples vocals from The Beatles or have the backing vocals of other artists, such as Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar. People who like these artists will like this album.

Since the release of the album, Ocean has signed a deal with Apple Music, so people can only buy the digital version of the album on iTunes. Once iTunes starts to sell individual songs from the new album, I will buy my favorites and leave it at that. I do not see myself becoming a Frank Ocean fan over this album.