After four years, a title change and a whole lot of speculation, Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’ is finally available.  Well, as long as you’re an Apple Music subscriber that is.  Despite its release, its almost as intriguing and mysterious as it always has been: hidden among the snippets of telephone conversations, interviews, and of course the lyrics themselves is a narrative that continues to unfold with every listen.  A lot clearer, however, is the direction Ocean has taken with the album’s production.  It’s just as delicate but more sparse, less forgiving than its pre-decessor ‘Channel ORANGE’, which is no surprise given that the likes of James Blake and Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood were involved.  ‘Blonde’ may not be as immediately satisfying as Ocean’s comparatively lush debut LP, but given the undivided attention it warrants, it’s certainly an album that will continue to deliver under each new scrutinous listen.  Stream below via Apple Music, or if you’re not signed up you can stream it in full here at BBC Radio 1’s listening party.

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