Exactly a year ago today on August 20th, 2016, Frank Ocean dropped one of my all time favorite albums: Blonde. Very few albums hold the power to captivate me months later, let alone a full year, but Blonde has managed to do just that. I still listen to this album a ton, and it holds a special place in my heart.
When Blonde was first released last summer, I appreciated it solely based on how good the music was, as in a more technical aspect. It was great and I adored it, but over the course of this last year my life has gotten significantly more difficult and as time goes on it seems I relate more and more to what Frank is saying on these songs. I am currently in a place where I can feel what he’s saying and wholeheartedly relate his personal experiences to my own, and that’s what makes this album so special to me. I find myself listening to music on a whole new level not only when the sound is impeccable, but when the lyrics strike a personal chord within me, which is what Blonde does.
On Blonde, Frank discusses a multitude of themes, a major one being love. In my personal favorite song “Ivy”, he carries a nostalgic tone as he reminisces about his first love. It’s a beautiful song, and the lyrics are equally as heartbreaking. On “Self Control” Frank sings of a former relationship he had where he and his lover just weren’t on the same page. “Self Control” is different in sound from previous Frank Ocean work’s as it sounds almost indie-rock inspired.
Frank then takes us on a breathtakingly beautiful ride during the song “Nights”. At the 3:30 mark in this song (which happens to be the exact mid-point of the album) he hits us with an amazing transition which sets the tone for the rest of the album and practically splits the song and album itself into two.
Toward the end of the record comes the stunning “White Ferrari” a song that carries a great deal of emotion. “I care for you still and I will, forever. That was my part of the deal, honest. We got so familiar. Spending each day of the year, White Ferrari, good times.” he sings earnestly.
Looking at it from a technical aspect, Blonde’s production, lyrics, vocals, and everything about it is truly incredible. It carries a very atmospheric, summer vibe, and not in the way you’d usually assume. It is not a record that would generally produce “made for radio hits” but that doesn’t make it any less amazing.
I wish I could fully express how much this album truly means to me. It came to me at a point in my life when I needed it the most, and I am eternally grateful for Frank Ocean and the fact he made such a beautiful, ethereal, body of art. Personally, this album is one that speaks to me and it will always hold an emotional bearing and I feel like many people feel the exact same way, and will continue to for many years. Thank you, Frank Ocean.