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Frank Ocean - Blond

Xquisite    
Overview
Frank Ocean is an indie rnb singer from Long Beach California. Although he had ghost written for several mainstream artists, he was in the background until the advent of Odd Future's success. His music was original enough to associate with their clan but it was very formal and classy in contrast to their rebellion angle. Nevertheless, he established himself with a skater filled audience. The biggest change from his first release, "Channel Orange" is he's a lot more confident. You can tell that he's had a lot of experiences and has spent a lot of time with some very cool people. The title blond, fits as the evolution of his previous title and the songs do the name justice. The album is very elegant. There's lots of professional instrumentation, the lyrics are interesting and meaningful, and the vocals are soulful. One surprise is that the falsetto of his biggest song, "Thinking Bout You" isn't pushed in any of the songs. Although the album is very good, none of the songs seem meant to stand alone.
Defining Track
The first song, Nikes is about not being in love for the right reasons. There's pitch altering and the beat is very slow and spacial. He makes a few jokes and tells a bit of a story. It's not all that cohesive, but it's entertaining. There's a few drug references and like most of the other songs, it's very easy to imagine listening to it under the influence (not a suggestion though).
Final Thoughts
The album is a little somber like "Channel Orange." It's probably the first fully sung rnb album to have so little to do with relationships. Frank Ocean has a nice voice but he isn't really pushing it in any of these songs. As a whole the album is wonderful but individually, none of the songs compare to "Thinkin Bout You" or even "Pyramids." With all that said, Frank's back!

Rap Independent
Frank Ocean - Blond
9/10

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