It’s been four years since Frank Ocean’s debut album channel orange was released, loved & critically acclaimed world wide in July 2012. On Saturday, August 20 Frank Ocean surprised millions with his follow up sophomore release Blonde. Less than twenty four hours later another version of the album is released alonside a 365 page Magazine titled Boys Don’t Cry.
While anyone can purchase the album digitally via Apple music select fans can purchase the album physically with a copy of the Boys don’t cry zine. In the Magazine fans will find photography captured by Frank Ocean, horoscopes, interviews featuring Frank’s mother and bay area rapper Lil B, poems and raps by Frank Ocean and fellow artist & art phenomenon Kanye West and a physical copy of the newest album: Blonde. The Magazine as of now is only available for purchase through surprise pop-up shops located in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and London.
When Frank Ocean first took to Tumblr to announce the album it was stated the release would be within the month of July 2015. As time passed and no music was released fans around the world were excited as ever. Following July 2015 Frank Ocean would stay silent creating while every digital outlet possible would release fabricated dates claiming them as official album release days. Dates such as August 07, September 11, October 09, December 11, January 2016, March 25, June 03 and July 2016 were all supposedly “promising” dates from theses sites and outlets But again, all days would come and go with no new music from the highly praised Grammy award winning singer.
Aside from guest appearances on albums such as Magna Carta Holy Grail by Jay-Z, Paradise Valley by John Mayer, BEYONCÉ by Beyoncé, The Life of Pablo by Kanye West and Wolf by longtime friend Tyler, The Creator the world had no new music to connect to; at least until the release of Endless. Friday August 19th Frank Ocean released a visual album titled Endless featuring 45 minutes of music (12 songs and interludes) over a black-and-white film of Frank himself building furniture in a warehouse. The Film shot by Francisco Soriano, (the same director behind the video of Frank Ocean’s Lost, a previous record from Channel Orange) would go on to be highly praised and loved by fans and newcomers alike.
With The release of Endless fans flocked to social media to share the film and rejoice in new music. Within the next 48 hours Frank Ocean would again shock fans and digital outlets with the release of two more albums Blond & and the release of Boys Don’t cry Magazine. With his newest projects Frank embarks on a more stripped down, minimalistic soulful sound. The album feels completely stripped down, featuring little to no drums, waves of guitars, pianos, and slight glitches flourished with his voice in command at the forefront of every track. Though listed on Apple as a “pop” record, Blonde is truly a boundary pushing album showcasing diversity, lyricism, and a sound that’s possibly knocking on the door of a new genre all together. Lyrically Frank stays true to himself and doesn’t waste a breath; every song is as meaningful & poetic as it is melodic; touching on topics of love, racism, equality. Frank’s talent of providing vivid scenes of imagery is once again laced through every track, just as it was on Channel Orange.
With the performance Frank provides on both Endless and Blonde with contributing artists such as Beyoncé, Pharrell, Kendrick Lamar, Andre 3000, The Beatles, James Blake, Rick Rubin, and Tyler, the creator this album screams longevity in a generation of recyclable music playlists.