Here's what critics say about Frank Ocean's long-awaited album 'Blonde'

Ocean fans have been waiting for the R&B singer to release a new album since 2012, when 'Channel Orange' lit up the music world. Was 'Blonde' worth the wait?

John Shearer/Invision/AP
Frank Ocean performs on stage at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in 2013.

Frank Ocean has released his long-awaited new album, titled “Blonde,” and critics are mostly praising the new work, calling it “gripping” and “worth the wait” after the 2012 release of his critically acclaimed album “Channel Orange.” 

Mr. Ocean’s new album, “Blonde,” is available through Apple Music and iTunes, the newest high-profile work to be released through the streaming service Apple Music, along with recent works by rapper Drake, who released his album “Views” through Apple at first earlier this year, and Taylor Swift, who made her newest album, “1989,” available through Apple Music.

Ocean’s “Orange” was nominated for the best album of the year Grammy Award and the work was hailed as one of the best albums of the year by multiple critics. 

“He made history with this music,” Rolling Stone staff wrote of “Ocean” in 2012 when the publication named the work as one of the best albums of the year. “The 25-year-old singer’s second album is the most exciting R&B breakthrough in recent memory … ‘Channel Orange’ unfurls new mysteries with every listen.” 

Reviewers seem to be mostly pleased with Ocean’s new work, which was released on Aug. 20 following the release of a visual album, “Endless,” the day before. “Blonde” is also accompanied by an art publication that features contributions from artists including Kanye West.

Mikael Wood of the Los Angeles Times calls “Blonde” “gripping,” calling certain lines of songs “hauntingly gorgeous,” while Jon Caramanica of the New York Times writes that Blonde and the magazine that can accompany it, which is titled Boys Don’t Cry, “captures the range of Mr. Ocean’s ambitions and gifts.” 

And Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune wrote that the album is “worth the wait … it turns out that while his fans were busy waiting, Frank Ocean was preparing a feast.”

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