Four years after the release of his debut Channel Orange, Frank Ocean’s highly anticipated second album Blond finally dropped last Saturday.
All of Ocean’s strengths are on display in opener song Nikes. Over a riff of synth beats, he croons in a high-pitched voice about how some girls only want a relationship with him so they can use his money for material gain: “They want a cheque/Tell them it ain’t likely/Said she need a ring like Carmelo”, referencing a famous basketball player.
Another highlight is Seigfried, which reflects Ocean’s inner conflict between pursuing what he really believes in as an artist, and taking the easy route to “settle down [with] two kids and a swimming pool”.
A successful debut isn’t all that hard. What is tough is coming up with a second album that meets expectations. While none of the songs in Blond reach the heady heights of Channel Orange’s Thinkin’ Bout You, it offers a balance of synth-infused pop-esque songs, and cements Ocean’s position as one of the best male R&B artists right now.
Contains strong language