Blonde alternatively titled blond is the second [a] studio album by American singer Frank Ocean. It was released on August 20, , as a timed exclusive on the iTunes Store and Apple Music , and followed the August 19 release of Ocean's video album Endless.
In , Ocean confirmed that his follow up to Channel Orange would be another concept album. Initially known as Boys Don't Cry and teased for a July release, the album suffered several delays and was the subject of widespread media anticipation leading up to its release.
Its physical release was accompanied by a magazine entitled Boys Don't Cry. The album draws influences from Stevie Wonder , the Beatles , and the Beach Boys , while Ocean's use of pitch shifted vocals particularly drew comparisons to Prince by critics. Additionally, the Beach Boys' de facto leader Brian Wilson is recognized as a strong influence on the album's lush arrangements and layered vocal harmonies, while the guitar and keyboard rhythms on the album are noted by critics as languid and minimal.
The album's themes surrounds Ocean dealing with his masculinity and emotions, inspired by sexual experiences, heartbreak, loss and trauma. Blonde received widespread acclaim, with critics praising Ocean's introspective lyrics and the album's unconventional and progressive sounds.
Supported by its lead single " Nikes ", the album debuted at number one in several countries, including the United States. It earned first week sales of , with album-equivalent units in the US, with , being pure sales, and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America RIAA.
Among other publications, Time named it the best album of Metacritic named it the third most critically acclaimed album of the year by music publications.
Pitchfork named it the best album of the s. On February 21, , Ocean confirmed that he had started work on his next studio album, which he confirmed would be another concept album. He also stated that he was interested in collaborating with Tame Impala and King Krule and wanted to record the album in Bora Bora. In April , Ocean stated that his second album was nearly finished. The Guardian described the song as: "a song which affirms that despite reportedly changing labels and management, he has maintained both his experimentation and sense of melancholy in the intervening years".
In a personal letter which prefaced the Boys Don't Cry magazine, Ocean stated that he had been inspired by a photograph of a young blonde girl in the back seat of a car. We're not telling the stories to ourselves, we know the story, we're just seeing it in flashes overlaid".
Blonde features an abstract, atmospheric sound in comparison to Ocean's previous work, and utilizes a variety of unconventional musical elements. Additionally, the Beach Boys' de facto leader Brian Wilson is recognized as a strong influence on the album's lush arrangements and layered vocal harmonies. Featuring a use of guitar and keyboard loops, writers noted that the rhythms on the album are languid and minimal. The album's themes surrounds Ocean dealing with his masculinity and emotions, inspired by personal heartbreak, loss and trauma.
The album has been categorized as avant-garde soul. Songs change shape subtly as they go, rarely ending in the same place they began. The Daily Telegraph noted Ocean's use of varispeed and Auto-Tune effects on his voice,  while Greg Kot stated that he utilizes these audio processing devices to employ "two distinct voices, like characters in a play, a recurring theme throughout the album". On April 6, , Ocean announced that his follow-up to Channel Orange would be released in July, as well as a publication, although no further details were released.
The album was ultimately not released in July, with no explanation given for its delay. The publication was rumored to be called Boys Don't Cry , and was slated to feature the aforementioned "Memrise", although the track did not make the final track listing.
On July 2, , Ocean hinted at a possible third album with an image on his website pointing to a July release date. The image shows a library card labeled Boys Don't Cry with numerous stamps, implying various due dates. The dates begin with July 2, , and conclude with July , and November 13, On August 1, , a video appeared that showed Ocean woodworking and sporadically playing instrumentals on loop.
These shops contained hundreds of magazines, with three different covers and the album on a CD included with each cover, the covers also appear in the magazine, the first cover—which is part of a collection of pictures called "I'm a Morning Person"—was taken in Berlin , Germany by Wolfgang Tillmans , whose song "Device Control" was sampled on the songs "Device Control" and "Higgs" on Endless and the alternate cover Which does not appear in the magazine, however, it is one of the alternate covers of the magazine appears to have been shot by Viviane Sassen in Tokyo, Japan and was taken as part of a collection of other photographs, which appears in the "Foxface" collection of pictures.
Later in the day, the album was released exclusively on the iTunes Store and Apple Music. However, the track list differed from the digital version of the album, with an extended version of " Nikes " featuring Japanese rapper KOHH. Rather than going on a typical promotional tour playing radio festivals and appearing on television shows, Ocean spent a month after the release of Blonde , traveling to countries such as China, Japan and France. He also chose not to submit Blonde for consideration at the Grammy Awards , stating "that institution certainly has nostalgic importance It just doesn't seem to be representing very well for people who come from where I come from, and hold down what I hold down.
Blonde was met with widespread critical acclaim. At Metacritic , which assigns a normalized rating out of to reviews from professional critics, the album received an average score of 87, based on 38 reviews. Mojo reviewer Andy Cowan called it "a beguiling, meandering sprawl that rewards total immersion",  while Tara Joshi deemed Blonde a "fully conceptualised, curated personal vision" and "a sublime and largely impressive album" in her review for The Quietus. He said that "what originally appear to be Blonde ' s flaws — its loose ends and ambiguities — end up as its strengths," concluding that "what gradually emerges is a record of enigmatic beauty, intoxicating depth and intense emotion.
Neil McCormick was somewhat less enthusiastic. In The Daily Telegraph , he wrote that Blonde "should be celebrated as part of a generational shift away from the obvious in pop", while finding the record to be "meandering, contemplative and introverted", suggesting that it would be a laborious experience for some listeners. At the end of , Blonde appeared on a number of critics' lists ranking the year's top albums. According to Metacritic, it was the third most prominently ranked album of In the first week of release, Blonde debuted at number one on the US Billboard and recorded , album-equivalent units , including , copies of the album sold.
The album has earned , album-equivalent units, , of which were copies sold. Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Blonded Radio. Frank Ocean. Boys do cry, but I don't think I shed a tear for a good chunk of my teenage years. It's surprisingly my favorite part of life so far. Surprising, to me, because the current phase is what I was asking the cosmos for when I was a kid.
Ocean Keith Rostam Batmanglij. Breaux Pharrell Williams. Ocean James Blake. Breaux Tyler Okonma Christophe Chassol. Ocean Ho Jon Brion. Breaux Joe Thornalley Michael Uzowuru. Ocean Thornalley Uzowuru Ross. Ocean Ross Francis Starlite. Breaux Ho Batmanglij [d] Elliott Smith [d]. Frank Ocean — creative direction, photography Thomas Mastorakos — creative direction Viviane Sassen — photography Wolfgang Tillmans — photography Jessica Haye — photography. Digital download streaming iTunes Store and Apple Music exclusive.
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