Admittedly, Blonde (Blond?) should've been on our must-play list in August, but since Frank Ocean decided to surprise-drop this one on a random Saturday last month, we're including it here. We're also including it here because to ignore what will likely be one of the best albums of the year would be criminal. Ocean has always lived on the edges of contemporary pop/R&B, but with his latest, he's proving he's a genre unto himself. On Blonde, ethereal beats meet lush melodies and lyrics that cover everything from romantic sacrifice ("Siegfried") to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina ("Pink White" and "Nights"). The album has a huge host of contributors (only Ocean can get Beyoncé to sing back up), but this is a pure Ocean album, through and through.
In the four years since the release of Ocean's Grammy-winning, happy-making Channel Orange, the 28-year-old singer-songwriter has been teasing us with promises (and more promises…and more promises) of new music. There have been cryptic missives, some intriguing video clues, at least one fake-out release date--all revolving around an album that was rumored to be titled Boys Don't Cry. But it wasn't until Thursday night that we finally got a drop of the Ocean, courtesy of Endless, a 45-minute, 18-track "visual album" available exclusively through Apple Music. It's a part of the new visual album trend spearheaded by Beyoncé's "Lemonade" earlier this year. Directed by Ocean himself, and shot in crisp black and white, Endless is a single-location, slow-building narrative that finds the singer working out of a massive warehouse, putting together what turns out to be a giant wooden staircase.
The title Endless is likely a cheeky reference to the interminable wait for the new album. Ocean announced that he was working on new music in early 2013, and in April 2014 he hinted that his next album was almost finished. We didn't hear much after that, but cryptic posts from the artist kept fans eager. Indeed, the anticipation built to the point where Ocean's inability to deliver has become an internet meme. In July, he posted yet another mysterious message in the form of an overdue library card, which implied the album would be coming that month.
After months of teasing a new project, Frank Ocean has finally returned with his new album, kind of. Instead of releasing the long-awaited "Boys Don't Cry," Ocean has released a visual album on iTunes called "Endless." The visual album is just one part of more music from Ocean that Apple says will release soon. Here's everything we know about "Endless" and Ocean's next album. "Endless" is a 45-minute "video art project" directed by Francisco Soriano, the director of Ocean's "Lost."
It seems streaming exclusives are continuing to create a rise in piracy. After a four-year hiatus Frank Ocean finally resurfaced, dropping his long-anticipated sophomore album, Blonde, on Apple Music last weekend. Critics and fans are enjoying it, but it's not all good news for the R&B singer. So far, the album has been illegally downloaded over a whopping 750,000 thousand times. This is according to data released to Music Business Worldwide by MUSO, a data-analytics specialist, which claims that as of August 25th, people pirated Ocean's album 753, 849 times.