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Songs from Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’ that changed my music scene

Songs from Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’ that changed my music scene

I have always been fond of music. Whatever phase I am going through, music has been there for me, unfailingly. Over time, I’ve grown a liking to seeking different melodies my ears would deem fitting to my mood. However, stumbling upon Frank Ocean’s discography, particularly his album, “Blonde,” has been a breakthrough for me. It was a distinct experience that changed the traditional music scene I’d known from the beginning. I’ve been in awe since then.

In 2016, he released “Blonde,” an album featuring variations of genres which include R&B, avant-garde soul, and psychedelic pop. Time deemed it the best album of 2016. Additionally, as per Metacritic, it is one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year. Personally, it’s his best album yet. The first time I listened to it, I was incredibly enamored, lost in an inexplicable surreal world. It was just that good.

Frank Ocean’s songs from Blonde changed the traditional music landscape for me

I’ve enumerated some of Frank Ocean’s songs from Blond that reconstructed the conventional music scene for me.

Close to You

This song is the musician’s spin on The Carpenter’s Close to You. It is a personal song telling us about the slow burn of a relationship ending, opposite of the lighthearted romantic feel the original aims to deliver.

His vocals resemble that of a talk box, which, according to facelesswriter of Medium, is closely reminiscent of Stevie Wonder’s cover of the said song. So, technically, Frank covered a cover, as the author has said.

The layers, sounds used, melody, and background instrumentals are what make this one remarkable for me. The fact that he made an already existing song sound brand new, at the same time paying homage to the actual, is an extraordinarily astounding feat.

Futura Free

This song screams unorthodox all over it. Divided into two sections, Futura Free is distinct because of the insertion of an actual interview clip in it. The aforesaid feature made it sound very different from typical songs. Frank uses a stream-of-consciousness point of view in narrating his reflections on the first part. The interview is in the second part.

The first time I heard this song, baffled was an understatement. I would skip the second part immediately because aside from it being long, it didn’t have a melody whatsoever. It was just straight-up a clip, with subtle instrumental hints in the background. Nonetheless, the more I listened to Futura Free, the more that it reeled me in. Over time, it became one of my favorite songs in the album. To this day, I’m still amazed by how this has reshaped my traditional view of music; it proved that you don’t essentially need lyrics or melodies all the time to create a wonderful song.

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This one is one of Frank’s most-known songs and it is already no surprise. Its message and its hauntingly beautiful main and sub vocals are worthy of being remarkable. What makes it distinct for me is its apparent usage of religious overtones, an artistic reference to its title. Also notable is the chorale-like vocalization playing as the song approaches its ending. For some reason, it successfully exudes the feeling of a respectful farewell, as the song originally implies.

Self Control

Frank’s high-pitch vocal effect is one of this song’s highlights, and it is a genius representation of the narrator’s subconscious for me. Aside from Self-control’s mellifluous, catching melody, its raw lyrics are also a huge part of what made it a game-changing, repeating song in my playlist for months. The slow ballad telling the story of a failing relationship and the presence of old, haunting memories in the present is successfully narrated with his artistic tactics.


Ivy is a very personal song for me, and as much as I associate it with distasteful memories, the song itself eventually became one of my favorites because of the way it was sung. The escalation of romance to sheer hatred was smooth and well portrayed, and you can feel the emotions picking up momentum as the song progressed. The projection of frustration and anger at the end evident with how Frank’s voice changed gave me the chills, and what sounded like objects breaking added up to the emphasis. All in all, it was marvelous.

These five do not even take up half of my list of game-changing Frank favorites, which means I have more – but so far, these are my best recommendations. If you want a unique discography, away from your typical music landscape, Frank Ocean is the man for you.

Which musician is your favorite, and why?

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