Forget the hype.
That’s what I keep reminding myself when listening to Frank Ocean’s new album. Both the video-album, ‘Endless’ and the album, ‘Blonde’ (or ‘Blond’??? Yeah it’s confusing).
In the end, it’s the music that matters. With the drop of ‘Blonde’ there’s been fudged release dates; a video-album that could have been the actual album; the exclusive Apple music deal; huge number of stellar collaborators, pop-up shop promos and a glossy mag accompanying the album.
Too much hype. So, I decided to just focus on the music. Watching ‘Endless’ was intriguing, seeing Frank going DIY and building his spiral staircase (more sculpture than functional), but I found myself closing my eyes and just listening. Whether the video was a metaphor for crafting, creating, taking time, the ongoing process of making stuff – whatever. In the end, the music felt like submerging myself in a sonic sea. I just drifted along with the current. It’s an immersive experience, like listening to ‘Blonde’, and it’s beautiful. ‘Blonde’ has a different tone, edgier, darker, but equally poetic, with that quality of slipstreaming from one song to the next. Both are mesmerising and it’s been wonderful engaging with Frank’s words and voice once again.
I’ll be listening to both for a long time, because the wait has been worth it.