The voice of the student.

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The voice of the student.

The Wave

The voice of the student.

The Wave

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Blonde Album Review

Blonde”, by Frank Ocean, is an album that is known by many of those who follow modern music, specifically the R&B genre. “Blonde”, released in 2016, is Ocean’s second studio album, following his release of “Channel ORANGE” in 2012. This album is filled with many highly streamed songs that I love.

“Nikes” (5/10)

This song is more weird than bad. Ocean’s voice is pitched up as high as it makes the song sound off. Once this vocal effect is removed, the song is fairly solid. I think it is a really weak start to the album, but I still can’t say that it is a bad song.

“Ivy” (9/10)

I wish I could give this song a 10/10, but I just can’t. This song is one of the best lyrically from Frank Ocean and has some of his best storytelling. The opening line of this song, “I thought that I was dreaming when you said you loved me,” is one of my favorite lyrics of all time. This perfectly starts the song and introduces the sad, but romantic story behind this song. Telling the story of love from a friendship that fails to become a relationship, this song touches the hearts of all listening. The only reason this song is not a 10/10 is because the end of the song is the most horrible thing I’ve ever heard. Listening to the ending makes my ears feel as if they are being violated. Aside from the ending, this song is perfect in my opinion.

“Pink + White” (10/10) 

This is my favorite song on the album and my second favorite Frank Ocean song ever (Novacane is my favorite). This song is one of the more popular ones on the album and has resurfaced on Tiktok in mid-2023 as a song for couples to do outfit transitions with. This song perfectly demonstrates how beautiful Frank Ocean’s voice can be, and how skilled he is as a lyricist.

“Be Yourself” 

This is just an interlude that talks about addiction and smoking. Good to listen to if you are interested in the history of the album, but not good just for listening.

“Solo” (6/10)

I love the lyrics to this song. While a lot of what is meant by the lyrics is rather subtle, they still can make sense and be great for those who don’t understand them. This song sounds boring compared to a lot of the others. It is slow and has very little going for it other than the lyrics.

“Skyline To” (4/10)

This song is more lousy written and produced than the others in this album. There is very little to it. The lyrics to this song are very lacking compared to the rest of the album, but some parts of this song sound good. I can’t say that it is horrible, but this song will never see one of my playlists.

“Self Control” (8/10)

The way that I would describe this song is ‘raw’. This feels like Ocean just playing the guitar and singing with it. It feels much more pure than the rest of the album. There are a few vocal effects thrown in, but other than that, this song feels very straightforward. I love this song. It is not a style that I usually like, as I like faster-paced songs, but this one just stands out to me as great for some reason.

“Good Guy” (5/10)

There is not much to say about this song. It is just over a minute in length. I think that the effects on Ocean’s voice sound weird, but overall the song isn’t horrible.

“Nights” (9/10)

This song is not as lyrically strong as some of the others; however, it is one of the best sounding on the album. This song is one of the only ones on the album that takes more of a rap approach than R&B. While for some this may be a breaking point, I love this. Holding to the rap genre, this song is one of the most explicit on the album and covers issues such as drugs that the other songs don’t even touch on.

“Solo (Reprise)” (1/10)

The main portion of the song was okay at best already. The reprise just makes the song shorter and honestly even worse than it already was.

“Pretty Sweet” (7/10)

This song may have the most interesting intro I have ever heard. “Pretty Sweet” is what it sounds like, pretty sweet. A total vibe switch from the rest of the album, but still a great song. If you can appreciate the unique sound of this song, it should be pretty easy to at least like.

“Facebook Story”

This is just another interlude. It is interesting if you care about the story behind the album and Frank Ocean as a person. I would still listen to it with the album, but it won’t be on any of my playlists.

“Close to You” (6/10)

A very unique song. The instrumental is a lot more intense than in most of the other songs. Ocean’s voice in this song is very soft and is much more gentle than in other songs. It is not my style of music, but I can respect loving it.

“White Ferrari” (9/10)

“White Ferrari” is a heartbreaking story of innocence and the inability to tell someone you love them. The lyrics follow Frank not being able to share his love for someone for so long that they eventually leave him. In the third verse, he assures this person that his love is forever and is not going anywhere despite not being reciprocated. This beautiful tragedy is paired perfectly with Ocean using a softer voice than in the rest of the album to create the desired sad and romantic feeling.

“Seigfried” (10/10)

Something about this song just scratches an itch in the back of my brain. This song is very smooth and soft. With the sound of it aside, the lyrics are insanely deep and personal. Ocean talks about how he is a fool for living his life the way he does. He sings about what he could be doing to live a better life and what would make him happier. He repeats the line “I’m not brave” throughout the song. This line hits harder and harder each time he says it. This song is a story unlike most of the others. “Seigfried” is five and a half minutes of tragedy and beauty. While it isn’t my favorite to listen to, it is a piece of art.

“Godspeed” (10/10)

“I will always love you,” is one of the most iconic opening lines to any modern song. This song is much gentler in its sound than the rest of the album. Ocean keeps his voice refined and more in a singing voice rather than speaking. This song is one that I find to be an absolute masterpiece and is my second favorite on the whole album.

“Futura Free” (2/10)

This is a very long song. Standing at almost nine and a half minutes, this song feels like a chore to listen to. I do like this song. It has some of Ocean’s best rap verses, but it feels like it is a stockpile of songs and interludes along with a ton of silence and radio static. There may be some artistic statement being made that I am missing, but I can’t stand listening to this song.

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About the Contributor
Logan Yarnell, News Editor
Logan Yarnell is a senior at Marco Island Academy and the News Editor of  The Wave. He loves science, especially biology. He grew up in St Louis, where he found his love for writing and video making. He spends most of his time outside of school reading, playing video games, and listening to music.
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