by AARON FLORES//Staff Writer
As a freshman in high school in 2012, one of my go-to albums during that time was “Channel Orange.”
Just this album let alone helped me through the ups and downs that I went through in my life during that specific time. I strongly related to Frank Ocean’s album when he told the public that “Channel Orange” was meant for his first love and how he uses the method of synesthesia to represent the whole album in one word . For those who don’t know what synesthesia is, it’s when an individual’s perception of the past is associated with the experience of colors.
This is why majority of Frank Oceans’ songs are named after colors, because he remembers certain things from his past . “Channel Orange” is when he fell in love for the first time. Shortly after “Channel Orange” dropped he gave his response about what the whole album meant to him, how the color orange brought him back to the summer where he found his first love and was the best time of his life. “Channel Orange” was Ocean’s blossoming in the main stream.’
Now, as I start my college career as a freshman at South Plains, I see many parallels between the release of “Channel Orange” and the release of his most current body of work , “Blond.” The album displays Ocean flourishing while finding his own way to express himself among his contemporaries . This maturity showcases itself in the song writing, which relates in a much more tragic tone.
Ocean describing his own experience as a rich millennial, as apposed to the outsiders perspective of song writing which we heard in “Channel Orange”. With that comes much darker, somber tones which can be heard in the lyrics compared to Orange album, yet even with the tonal shift, Ocean manages to reformat his ability to write catchy, memorable songs into one album that is a little more low key, every song on this album has a minimalist approach, contain just what he needs to craft these soundscapes and nothing else. For the practically the entirety of “Blond” you will hear Frank’s voice soar confidently over the gorgeous instrumentals with a great grasp of tone and pitch, he does all this while having some of the most simple song structures.
This level of complexity in his song writing shows that ocean is no longer the young man we heard on “Channel Orange”. Instead he is a much more confident man who does not mind delving some of his more personal work to his contemporaries . The second song from his new debut album is
“Ivy.” Ocean talks of his past relationship with a deep passion, then eventually a strong regret, you can hear Mr. Oceans vocals lay over a gloomy tone performed by his band , “Ivy” is by far one of best songs on his new album you can hear the maturity of him growing up and thinking about his past mistakes.
“Self Control.” was about his past lover who also share the same type of regret as Frank even through his ex is with someone else. You can hear franks lyrics carry a deep regretful and guilty tone which leads up to him losing control with a memorable melody in the back ground.
“Solo.” I can deeply relate to this song, it takes me back when I was living with my parents . The song is basically about smoking weed, prior to this song, you can hear Frank’s mother lecture the listens about how marijuana and drug use is bad.
“Seigfriend” the fifth tenth track on “Blond” moves back and forth from his love life , then his personal life, and back to his love life. The first verse you can hear Frank talking about his failed relationship with his ex, he leaves to reflect on his own personal life choices . The second verse you can hear Frank being more open with his listening how his new lover directing him to a better life then he once had.
I personally think this album does not deserve a five star rating , its something that every individual should listen too and form their own personal experience from it.