Review: Blonde by Frank Ocean

Blonde by Frank OceanAnd so we head to Blonde, the proper new album from Frank Ocean, the one we’ve waited all these years for. If you came in on the strength of his previous two records, well, this didn’t follow the same tack. The clues were in Endless, the visual album slash prelude: a focus on mood, a blurring of boundaries, a humming, introspective feel. Only Blonde feels much more moodier. He really did strip the glitz away, and the result is an album that lacks the obvious signposts for a hit, but feels very much fully-formed. Blonde is restless and pacey. The song lengths run the gamut from a minute to nine. The long-teased guest spots are mostly blink-and-you’ll-miss-it affairs. The themes come and go. It’s an album that’s not supposed to work, considering what came before – and yet it does. [NB]4/5

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