Blond(e) and Endless


Only Frank Ocean could make a Tumblr post about Prince as impactful as a live performance. Like his purple precursor, Ocean’s writing is suffused with emotion that renders his characters practically physical. On “Blonde” and “Endless,” Ocean is a pitch-shifted fashion killa, a testifying acid-tripper, an ironic technophobe, a love-stoned teenager and more. The same heart beats within all of them.

Frank Ocean’s writing has never sounded this personal. A direct line like, “I thought that I was dreaming when you said you loved me,” hits like a sucker punch. The subtle arrangements wisely leave room for Ocean’s nimble voice. When he sings to an anonymous you, it’s as intimate as his cover of an Isleys-via-Aaliyah tune. These albums are gloriously queer, unafraid to condense a lifetime of joy and sorrow into 35 tracks. Frank Ocean is back in a dangerous time, singing “I’ll always be there for you.” There’s no other feeling quite like it.

Originally published on NDSMCObserver.

2016Jack Riedy