Frank Ocean delivers an emotional, poetic tale of love and self-discovery throughout his highly-anticipated album, Blonde. Although dull at times, we have to give Frank high marks for the honesty, sincerity and creativity in his lyrics. Considered more of a carefully structured musical narrative then an album full of “smash hits”, we admit we weren’t won over by this record until we’d heard it a few times.
There are moments when Blonde was a snoozer and others when it really hit the heart. From worst to first, we rank the songs on Frank Ocean’s second-studio album, Blonde…
Keep in mind we’ve left out all interludes and skits.
11. Futura Free
Thank goodness Futura Free is the last song we hear on Blonde – it’s far too mundane. Frank’s distorted vocal and the hypnotic production makes the song sound like something from our subconscious. If you manage to stay awake during this track, the only thing that might keep you listening are the lyrics – reflecting on his past and crooning about fame, religion, sexuality and even 2Pac, it’s hard to deny Frank’s great song-writing skills in this one.
10. Skyline To- feat. Kendrick Lamar
We feel ripped off. Where is Kendrick Lamar?! The rapper throws in a few words, and Frank expects us to be happy? Nope. The subdued record which features la-la-land backing sounds and Frank’s scattered thoughts is decent if you’re looking for a song to put you to sleep.
We think we might be the only ones who aren’t in favor of this song. Why does a great vocal like Frank’s need to be autotuned? Other than its impressive and honest lyrics, Nikes is somewhat of a disappointment. The woozy and dreamy song is saved when Frank’s more familiar tone emerges 3 minutes into it. If only another track was chosen as the album’s lead single. Sorry, not sorry!
8. Godspeed – feat. Kim Burrell
Cue the chills. Frank melts listeners’ hearts in the gospel-like track, Godspeed. Not only do Frank’s vocals make you want to shout out “amen” but Kim Burrell’s do too. Their riffs and runs throughout the song are heavenly and soul-grabbing.
If you were craving Channel Orange vibes on this album, then Seigfried is your go-to song. Frank sounds most vulnerable in this ambient number. He wears his heart on his sleeve as he passionately croons about loneliness and failed romances. Kudos to the production – it’s eerie but enticing at the same time.
6. White Ferrari
Frank finally steps back into his territory on the mellow and beautiful ballad, White Ferrari. With its poetic, metaphorical lyrics and Frank’s fine vocal, this record is a lot more tolerable than similar mellow tracks on the album. What comes after the two-minute mark is stunning and extremely felt. There’s a lot of atmosphere in this one. Frank can sing us a lullaby like this anytime.
Reaching the half-way mark is Ivy. Trademark Frank Ocean can be heard on this one, pleasing fans who have been there since day one. Singing about a failed relationship, this stripped-down track guarantees to speak to the soul of those who have experienced similar heartache.
4. Pink + White – feat. Beyonce
Pink + White is a perfect tune to end the summer on. The mellow and minimalist R&B record takes you down Frank’s memory lane as he reminisces on a past lover and drug use. Believe it or not, we’re not applauding this track because of Beyonce – she’s barely noticeable. Pink + White is ranked high on our list simply because it’s good music.
3. Self Control
Frank’s emotions will put you directly in your feelings in the sweet serenade and beyond beautiful, Self Control. Any song with lyrics like “Keep a place for me, for me / I’ll sleep between you, it’s nothing.” will touch your heart. Warning – you might find yourself swimming in your own tears after this one. You can almost hear Frank breaking down mid-way. Try not to lose your self-control while listening…
Despite his mother’s advice on the skit, Be Yourself, Frank goes against her words and dedicates his next song to getting high. Frank’s voice riffs are precious as he sings about loneliness (going solo) and simultaneously feeling “so-low”. The introspective track is officially a solid favorite on the album. This is the Frank we’ve been waiting for.
Ideal for late night driving with the windows down, Nights is hands-down the most stand-out track on Blonde. Although it slows down after the switch up, the upbeat first half comes as a breath of fresh air amongst an album so full of down-tempo, moody tracks. It’s a stellar moment. Nights is definitely getting the most plays out of us.
Was Blonde well worth the wait? Tell us what you thought of the album in the comments below and don’t forget to tell us which song was your favorite in the comments below…