An oldie but goodie review:
I ... have this #blond album review I'm just gonna drop here so pass this over if you have no interest
Gonna drop my Endless review shortly. If you haven't already, be sure to check out the Apple Music exclusive visual album just released by Frank Ocean. Let's get down to business!!
You get drawn in right at the start with the opening intro Nikes. I get angry that his flow is as good as it is. Hope the hype bug hasn't bitten me.
Ivy basically has us pick up where Orange seemingly left us off. It could feel like the apology we've been waiting for as his return comes with a heeded warning that things won't go back now that he's here, essentially to crush whatever hope or expectation we harbored initially.
After coming to that sobering conclusion, Pharrell decides to loan his talents to compose atop of Pink + White. At this point it becomes so easy to just drown in every audible element. I question whether I'm a hype beast. These sonic choices do not go unnoticed. I think this his way of having the backs of those who rode for him, yet that warning still rings "it's all downhill from here" to snap those hyped back from their astral projection trip.
Be yourself rings like more than money from Orange. Mom has a testimony y'all.
Solo would be my pick for a single. Maybe because it makes me think of Chance the rapper.. Or some other lonely stoner.. LOL
Flight of the Navigator was my initial thought jumping from The beginning to the middle of Skyline To. This is when I realized I am dealing with more than the Frank I used to know. He's unapologetic in telling me what I've been dying to know.
Which brings us to Self Control. As beautiful as it should be to those who listen to it.. I hesitate to bring its true meaning to light. I wade in the John Mayer esque licks and vocals. Just maybe this isn't about substance abuse. I want the rose colored glasses everyone else has on.
This man is FEARLESS. Good guy hits where others might miss. It's a great prelude to Nights which in my opinion is about life on the road clashing with the trifecta of sex drugs and rock and roll. Nights becomes my leading pick for what would traditionally be considered a second single for Frank Ocean. It has that switch up most won't expect. He's basically done with all of us at this point. "His whole body see through.." He a ghost dawg. Calling out those he leaned on back in the beginning in the latter portion was beautiful.
The amount of content I removed from Nights should automatically qualify it as a track with great personal resonance.. Or maybe my empathic waves are going overboard and I'm losing sight of what I'm feeling versus what I'm being bombarded with. Speaking of bombardment, Andre 3000 on solo reprise!! He to me was the ghost before Frank Ocean was even a blip on my radar. To have him as a feature showcases not just the weight of the hype but the amount of respect he has to return on a project. Pink Matter was amazing.
Pretty Sweet will be lost on me because I think this is a direct jab at those on the inside who wanted his allegiance. Brands that wanted him to compromise his beliefs.. Artists that wanted his catalogue streamed exclusively on their sites (allegedly).. Advocates looking to him to be a mouthpiece to decry injustices.. He deleted most of his social media and began to guilt his fans for being unreasonable about respecting his privacy by sharing a Facebook story. Perhaps we do get handsy with tangible celebrities.
The title and melody of this next track, Close To You, describe exactly how it feels to like something that now has the attention of everyone else. White Ferrari is almost the drive home after attending the party you felt ignored during and took drugs to salvage the night and call it a net win. I angrily stare at what I just type wondering why I can't find the lie.
Siegfried is the shadiest track of the album. The rise and fall arc of the overall album flow now is thrown in perspective. When uppers can't get you the peace you need or the man you want. At its darkest, the narrative reads as a suicide note. But let's not play the blame game, although I personally blame toxic masculinity forever.
Yet even in this abyss, peace can be found. Godspeed does what I did not expect. I thought I lost him forever. I joke about keeping him trapped in my closet but essentially it's what we've done to him. He tells us that he's here for us on his terms and we simply must deal.
He has a victory lap. Futura Free is him celebrating being free. He even came to terms with his Pretty Sweet adversaries. Not even putting it past him to create a new way artist can connect with their audience. I feel like I know so much, was given so much.. Yet it's probably all in my head. I hope you really are free now man. I can't even tell you that.
We are a long ways from SOBs when Bridget Kelly was singing a song you wrote and you were just a spectator like me. If you have the control so many big names aspire to have I hope that you keep it, even if keeps you from having an even bigger name...
Don't ever change man