No one imagined Frank Ocean would return after four years of silence with an album of minimalist, avant-garde R&B, yet here we are, Blonde in hand.Blonde’s Theme, no one could predict what he would return with, or if he would return at all.
Unlike fellow surprise album artists Rihanna and Kanye West, Ocean isn’t here for radio play. The only single is album opener “Nikes”, a reverb-filled song that echoes drum pads and distorts vocal melodies. As filtered through technology as it is, “Nikes” feels deceptively human, Ocean’s voice driving like a nail between eeriness and romance. James Blake’s presence is felt for the first of many times