Frank Ocean - Blonde
Critic Score
Based on 41 reviews
2016 Ratings: #10 / 926
Year End Rank: #3
User Score
2016 Ratings: #1
Liked by 263 people
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Entertainment Weekly
With these 17 tracks, Ocean shows himself to be one of pop’s foremost innovators.
Consequence of Sound

Blonde is R&B minimalism that only Ocean could have made, and he created it as such so that its details emerge when they feel comfortable to do so — namely when the listener is prepared to face their similarities to his autobiographical faults with the same lack of a need for exoneration.

The Guardian
Realign your expectations, and what gradually emerges is a record of enigmatic beauty, intoxicating depth and intense emotion.
The Skinny
It's a dignified, down-tempo celebration of taking all the damn time you need to get something done that's worth doing right.

After hearing blond - you gotta respect the craftsmanship.


Beautifully more simple than any of our mythmaking delusions, Blonde is Ocean’s life as he experiences it: fluid and fluctuating, one man in motion. This is what freedom sounds like.

Pretty Much Amazing

On the whole, Blonde is more assured and consistent than Channel Orange. It inherits the bagginess of his overstuffed debut, but lacks the thrill of groundbreaking novelty. Frank Ocean is an outlier, an artist who can produce an album this phenomenal and nevertheless fall a bit short.


Blonde is chaotic. Vibrant, it colours outside the lines. Poignant, it's transparent with altering modes of bravado, vulnerability and desperation. It is, thoroughly, a Frank Ocean album, yearning for perfection, sating the audience's hunger for dynamism, yet with the persistent feeling that the artist feels it's all a failure.

Frank is 28 now, and his voice has grown stronger and more dexterous, while some of his tales have become more abstract.
The Line of Best Fit

For an album that is at times intentionally difficult to follow - for all its vague and indistinct meanderings between subjects, between minds and bodies, between place and time, Blonde remains a highly accessible album - and not just sonically.


Blonde is the sound of an artist urging his listener to be patient, and in this age of instant gratification, it is a refreshing, rewarding triumph.


It’s just about impossible to live up to the hype that an album like this has been subjected to, but Ocean comes pretty close. Blonde is often a bit of a sprawling mess, but with some patience it becomes one of the most rewarding albums you’ll hear all year.

Drowned in Sound

Blonde feels like a confessional, one of naked pain, powerful acceptance and so much knowing ambiguity that the man behind these often pitch-shifted words once again keeps those rapt at arm’s length even when finally delivering. 

More quintessential than any of his previous releases, ‘Blonde’ rewards repeated listens. It demands your attention, but more importantly, it deserves it too. This is the sound of an artist in complete control, full of confidence and dazzling flair.
God Is in the TV
It confirms once more just how essential Ocean is as an artist, not just as a singer-songwriter. It seems likely that this album will feature highly on End of Year polls, and that is utterly deserved.
Spectrum Culture

The multiplicity of spins and perspectives Ocean draws out of love stories, social commentary and self-reflection is payoff enough to return to the album again and again.

The Young Folks

Blonde is a success not only because, technically speaking, it’s a outstanding sophomoric effort, but also because it’s pure artistry with soul and life injected into it to make it something each listener can engage with and relate to.

Under The Radar

If casual fans looking for simpler, catchier grooves to vibe to don't get it, then so be it. Judging by the way that Ocean sings without abandon on Blonde, he's well aware of what his true fans need.

A.V. Club
For the most part, the musicality—much sparser than the maximalist sonic feasts of his earlier work—still holds the same synesthetic power of the past, even for those who don’t claim to have the ability to see sounds.
Rolling Stone
The album is by turns oblique, smolderingly direct, forlorn, funny, dissonant and gorgeous: a vertiginous marvel of digital-age psychedelic pop.
NOW Magazine

Blonde delves even further into Ocean’s creeping sense of mortality than Endless, but with the kind of focused songwriting and production values befitting the intense level of fan expectation that preceded its release.


The first half of Blonde is astonishing, sustained beauty. The second is more distant, closer to the shower improvs of Friday’s sounds-like-a-soundtrack-and-it-is Endless.

Luckily for Frank and his army of die-hard fans, the time he took to craft the album sufficiently equates to its’ quality.

It’s a beguiling, meandering sprawl that rewards total immersion.

Slant Magazine
While Ocean's previous album was about currency of the monetary and interpersonal sort ... this one digs inward to examine issues of identity and personality in the shadow of growing recognition.
Like the greatest artists, Frank Ocean makes the new and experimental appealing towards even the most mainstream audiences, except this time the songs are more fulfilling and memorable than ever before.
Searching for ‘Blonde’’s true meaning is like fishing for treasure in the Great Barrier Reef. There’s bound to be something down there somewhere, but you’ve got to get past the infinite, beautiful distractions.
Tiny Mix Tapes

Blonde is of instances, of stretches and yawns, creativity in recreation, invisible labor, a time-lapse collapsed into one space.

No Ripcord

There’s a reason why this could be considered his attempt at writing an album akin to Sgt. Pepper: as Ocean consciously sets a very clear tone with some intrepid experimentation, he finds to way to put the focus almost entirely on thought-provoking sentiments.

American Songwriter

This is music that fascinates on first listen but requires multiple spins for its complexities and idiosyncrasies to take hold.

Crack Magazine

With 44 credited contributors, some of them literal and some very much spiritual, over 17 songs ... the only thought given to consistency is that consistency has no place in reality or the narrative arc of this album.

The Needle Drop

Frank Ocean doesn't disappoint on this highly-anticipated followup to his breakout album Channel Orange.

The Telegraph

In its defiant strangeness, Blonde should be celebrated as part of a generational shift away from the obvious in pop, as a new mood of serious artistic daring permeates an increasingly soul-searching hip-hop culture.

The Observer

There is still the powerful sense of a veiled introvert, and of the unlikely intimacy he achieves within this pose. You find yourself caring anew about the “I” of these songs, who is reflected in snatches of impressionistic poetry, in sunlight, summer smoke and boxer shorts.


No gimmicks, no massive production. Just beautiful songs with depth, feeling and passion.

The Sydney Morning Herald

Vulnerabilities are present, intra-relationship conversations are not left to easy cliches, Ocean feels never less than real.

Q Magazine

These records might not eclipse Channel Orange, but they have their own mercurial gleam, mapping the spaces between people, reaching for a hazy intimacy that almost feels real.


An undoubtedly reactive work, this is undiluted and progressive nonetheless.


Frank is rarely completely straightforward on Blonde, but many of the best moments come when he gets closer to it.

The Independent

Less structured and song-oriented than Channel Orange, it’s a long, meandering ramble through Ocean’s passing interests and attitudes, hopes and memories ... delivered in an undulating sprechstimme that seems to be avoiding the difficult choice of a compelling melody.

"Blond Is"

Poetic to exhaustion.
Rebelliously virtuous.
Progressive but not obnoxiously ambitious.
Naked with a warm tone of soulfulness.
Euphorically sinister of nostalgia.
Tastefully sour like an onion.
The Sistine Chapel of R&B.
The feeling of comfort is something we all need as of now. From the world we live in, the situations we always get into, we just need a break from it all. That alleviation of pain or distress keeps you from just going astray, and that’s the last thing we all want right now. To go onto a more personal note, it’s more or less what I’ve been going through recently. Without the people in my personal life, and even the people on this very website, I don’t know where I’d ... read more
An album to really embody the essence of the youth, the spirit of the late teens. Blonde stands as a record that truly transcends every emotional fit and awkward encounter that makes those years, what they are.

I’m entering my final year of high school and, I can definitely say Frank created an album that I see now as one so relatable and youthful as anything out there. Deep down in the melancholy tunes of Blonde is a boy becoming a man in turn, a teen becoming an adult. Accompanied ... read more
It's ya boi, unpopular opinion here. This album, to me, is really really boring. I don't know the appeal of it but whatever. I tried but couldn't get into it. It's too skeletal for me
Frank Ocean has returned to us after four years that felt like a lifetime. Some will surely find Blonde a disappointing follow-up to ChannelORANGE, which up until this weekend was still easily my favorite album of the decade. I will not say that Frank has topped ChannelORANGE, but he has given us another master-class in modern songwriting, a true heart-breaker that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with his classic debut LP.

The thing to keep in mind is that Frank has gotten older, as we all have. ... read more
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Track List

  1. Nikes
  2. Ivy
  3. Pink + White
  4. Be Yourself
  5. Solo
  6. Skyline To
  7. Self Control
  8. Good Guy
  9. Nights
  10. Solo (Reprise)
  11. Pretty Sweet
  12. Facebook Story
  13. Close to You
  14. White Ferrari
  15. Seigfried
  16. Godspeed
  17. Futura Free
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Added on: August 1, 2016