Why Blonde Isn’t as Bad as your Friends Say it is


Four years after the release of his 2012 album, Channel ORANGE, Frank Ocean released his long-anticipated NEW album, Blonde  on August 20, 2016. The album features various contributors including the likes of Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator, Pharrell Williams, and many talented others. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Chart, making it the third largest debut of 2016, only trailing Drake’s Views, and Beyoncé’s Lemonade.

Ocean’s fans were desperate for new content after loving Channel ORANGE in 2012, and waiting four years certainly hyped up Blonde prior to its release. The release date delays surely added to the promotion surrounding the album’s release as well. Five songs from the album also debuted on Billboard’s Hot 100(“Nikes” at No. 79, “Ivy” at No. 80, “Pink + White” at No. 84, “Solo” at No. 96, and “Nights” barely making the cut at at No. 98). Ocean had only had four songs making chart previously.

Overall, I think the album contains some of Ocean’s greatest works yet, and is a smooth contrast to Channel Orange. Blonde has a calm fluidity that makes for some slow, relaxing music. Some are critical of songs like “Facebook Story”, “Be Yourself” and more, which I would not really consider songs, but merely monologues that Ocean put in his album because they had a deeper meaning to him. This part of the album reminds me of Kanye West’s album, The Life of Pablo, and Kendrick Lamar’s album, To Pimp a Butterfly, and tracks that West and Lamar both put in that album that wouldn’t be considered songs, but added a creative and artistic aspect to the album. It is evident that Ocean was influenced by Lamar and West when he was making Blonde. Some have gone as far to say that Blonde “[is] a snoozefest”, like popular Instagram memer, @thefatjewish said. I think that the album is not exactly what everyone was expecting. It isn’t upbeat and fast, but more slow and tranquil, and this would explain why some might call it a “snoozefest”.

In conclusion, I’d say the four years was worth the wait. I would encourage everyone to give it a listen, especially to the five songs that made Billboard’s Hot 100. If you’re tired of listening to Views on repeat like I am, try adding some Blonde to your shower playlist.