OCEAN Frank Blonde (2016)

Blonde (alternatively titled blond) is the second studio album by American singer Frank Ocean. It was released on August 20, 2016, as a timed exclusive on the iTunes Store and Apple Music, and followed the August 19 release of Ocean’s video albumEndless. In 2013, 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 2015 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.

Blonde features an abstract, atmospheric sound in comparison to Ocean’s previous work, and utilizes a variety of unconventional musical elements. Besides the Beatles and the Beach Boys, the album draws influences from Stevie Wonder. Additionally, the Beach Boys’ de facto leader Brian Wilson is recognized as a strong influence on the album’s ornate and polished string arrangements and lyrical melodies. 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.