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Review: "Blond"

by Kevin Plinzke - Staff Writer

Frank Ocean

Tue, Feb 7th 2017 11:00 pm

 The wait was more than worth it. After making fans wait four years following his smash hit, debut album "Channel Orange" Frank Ocean followed up with an album that more than delivered on all of the potential he showed in his previous album. 

"Blond" is a one-of-a-kind musical experience that takes you on a journey through love, loss, pain and triumph. Ocean creates such vivid universes with the instrumentation he uses, from the mellowed out vibes of the intro track "Nikes" to the smooth guitar underneath his crooning pipes on the track "Ivy." Every song features minimalist production, but it feels almost grandiose based on the emotion it provokes. 

The highlight of the album from a skill standpoint, for me, comes from Ocean's vocals. He makes it seem effortless as he hits high notes and he has a fantastic vocal technique.

What really makes the vocals is how passionate he sounds. It  feels so honest and sincere when he sings about his heartbreaks or his joys. It feels like Ocean is right back in the moment that he is singing about every time he sings. 

There are also some amazing features on this album, with half of the Outkast duo, and one of my personal heroes, Andre 3000, offering up a very inspired verse on the track "Solo (reprise)". 3-Stacks raps about how he feels towards the state of the world, and the state of hip hop, using a play on words saying "solo," but meaning "so low." 

There is also a feature from BeyoncĂ©, who appears to sing the outro to the song "Pink and White" which really brings out the beauty of the song. On the silky smooth, "White Ferrari" Ocean revealed that Kanye West co-wrote the track and  can even be heard faintly humming. There is also a brilliant usage of a Beatles interpolation in the track, featuring the melody for "Here, There and Everywhere." 

Overall, I think this album says so much in its minimalist production, letting Oceans voice (and his heart) do all of the work. I give this five stars, and if I could give it 1,000 I would. I think this is one of the best albums that has come out in the last five years, and I'd reccomend to anyone, especially any fans of modern/post R&B and those who liked Ocean's debut album "Channel Orange".