Ivy | Frank Ocean


Joey Sprow

After more than four years of silence — bar a few guest features and a short interview here and there — Frank Ocean has reasserted his position as a modern R&B mastermind with not just one, but TWO great albums in the same week.

The first release, Endless, is a relatively lo-fi “visual album.” A new collection of songs set entirely to a cohesive, conversation-provoking film. The second release, Blonde — stylized as “blond” — can effectively be considered the true follow-up to 2012’s Channel Orange, clocking in at the same number of tracks as Channel Orange (a whopping 17 tracks) and pushing the sound from that record into darker sonic territory. Blonde is the album Frank Ocean fans have been waiting for.

If you haven’t gotten the chance to listen to any of the album yet, stop using your free time to read this article and go listen to the second track, “Ivy,” right now. It is one of the simpler songs on this album. There is something about “Ivy” that draws you in right away, or possibly multiple things. The way it instantly introduces you to Blonde’s guitar-driven aesthetic, its vague and personal yet relatable description of a friendship/relationship gone bad (“I could hate you now/It’s quite alright to hate me now), the chilling chipmunked vocal that ends the song proper. Even with a simple, verse-chorus kind of song, Frank Ocean gives the dedicated listener a lot to look out for through his accomplished songwriting and air-tight production.

It’s not every week a Frank Ocean album comes out so, on this week where one did, treat yourself and give it a listen.