Frank Ocean "Blond" 2xLPFrank Ocean
Ocean has managed to preserve the musical personality that marked him out as special on 2012’s immersive, psychedelic R&B game-changer, Channel Orange. There is still the powerful sense of a veiled introvert, and of the unlikely intimacy he achieves within this pose. You find yourself caring anew about the “I” of these songs, who is reflected in snatches of impressionistic poetry, in sunlight, summer smoke and boxer shorts. Solo is the sweet, homoerotically charged account of the space left behind by a toking buddy who is gone (“Now your baby momma ain’t so vicious, all she wants is her picket fence”). Seigfried captures a feeling of cosmic detachment: “I can’t relate to my peers/ I’d rather live outside/ I’d rather chip my pride than lose my mind out here.” Blonde is a collection of quiet moments from the man who’s worked hard to make himself the most talked about thing on the internet. In his songs, Ocean is not in control. In fact, he is attractively lost.