Ranking Frank Ocean’s Blonde

Photo Source: Wolfgang Tillmans

Photo Source: Wolfgang Tillmans

Alyssa Persichetti, Writer

Frank Ocean’s Blonde is an album known and loved by an endless amount of people. In its first week, it reached #1 on the Billboard Chart top 200 and it accumulated 65 million streams in the United States (The New York Times).  It is an album that evokes just about every emotion you can think of, and probably some you didn’t even know you had. 


It is an album full of interpretations, everyone listens to music a different way and everyone takes away a different lesson from it. Many speculate that the album is about Frank Ocean’s youth and innocence while others believe it to be about his sexual experiences with both men and women with constant themes of femininity and masculinity (Source 1). Whether you believe it has one meaning or another, there is no doubt that this is an amazing album.


Each song on this album portrays such a unique meaning. It’s not an album you just listen to, it’s an album you feel. This album consists of seventeen brilliant songs and here are my personal rankings of them. 




17. Be Yourself

It consists of voicemail from the mother of one of Frank’s childhood friends for the entirety of the track. She talks about the newfound freedom young adults are experiencing for the first time, they often involve themselves in substances such as alcohol and marajuana. As a mother, she obviously does not want this, so she urges him to simply “be himself”. It is a beautifully peaceful track on the album with a strong maternal vibe, but it just cannot compete with everything else Blonde has to offer. 

Favorite Lyric: “Don’t try to be someone else/Don’t try to act like someone else/Be yourself, be secure with yourself”


16. Solo (Reprise)

By no means is it a bad song, but it’s just not a song I feel like I enjoy as well as the other songs on this album. It is written about the feeling of loneliness in the music industry once you’ve hit success. It is a beautiful song, just not one I connect to as easily as I did the rest. 

Favorite Lyric: “I’ve stumbled and lived every word, was I working just way too hard?”


15. Close To You

Considered a cover of a cover, Close To You follows the track Facebook Story. It’s a continuation of the story even. It brings up the longing to be close to someone you once loved even though they once had the opportunity to be just that. Its not my favorite on this album, but it is definitely still a great song.

Favorite Lyric:  “Why am I preaching/To this choir, to this atheist?” 


14. Good Guy

This track is one more about loneliness and how meaningless these attempts at finding a deeper soul connection with someone is. On a date with a friend of a friend he realizes he is not really into short, meaningless relationships, but this person he is with doesn’t really care about him or who he is as a person. He is looking for something more. This is a short, but raw track, a well written/put together song, but I just couldn’t rank it any higher.

Favorite Lyric:“I know you don’t need me right now/And to you, it’s just a late night out”


13. Pretty Sweet

The song begins with the risks Frank is taking. He is surrounded by death and fake friends. He is living in absolute chaos and he is in the center of all of it. He’d rather live outside of this world happy than be thriving in the limelight amidst all the chaos, but he can’t leave. The song is a portrayal of  life he is stuck in vs the life he desires. Again, another short masterpiece. 

Favorite Lyric: “This is the blood, the body, the life right now”


12. Facebook Story

This track is more of a skit rather than a song. French producer SebatiAn speaks on how his relationship was ruined due to facebook and infidelity accusations. He didn’t see the need to accept his girlfriend on facebook because they are living in the real world together, they don’t need to be on social media together either. This track touches on how involved we as people have become with social media and our phones rather than what is right in front of us. It is honestly such a peaceful song with such an awakening message. 

Favorite Lyric: “It was virtual, means no sense”


11. Pink + White

A really appealing song to the ears. He looks back on a relationship with someone he seemingly grew up with that was at one point really really good, but the spark that kept them together was lost. The song hints at the death of this other person and he reminisces on his time with them and although the love between them might not have been forever, it was something he cherishes. He is looking back on their relationship and reflecting on their time together and what he learned from it. 

Favorite Lyric: “You’d kneel down to the dry land/Kiss the Earth that birthed you”


10. Futura Free

Honestly such a good song. It is a reflection of his life and all the aspects in his life that make him himself. He is just like everyone else in the world, just because he is “Frank Ocean” doesn’t mean he is special. He’s human just like the rest of us and wants to be humanitized, not glorified. The end of this track is a way he attempts to show he is human, just like the rest of us. 

Favorite Lyric: “Sometimes I feel like I’m a god but I’m not a god”


9. Godspeed

In this song, Frank addresses a person from the past, whether it be someone else or himself. Although different paths are being taken, he still wants the best for this person. All he wants is for this person to have a joy-filled life in their future, and even if he is not a part of it, he will always be there for them to return to. Something I find really interesting about this song is listening to it with different perspectives in mind. Thinking about him addressing another person or even his younger self. The explanation with a past love is pretty self explanatory, but reflecting back on his childhood and seeing the person he becomes from the eyes of his current self is something that I find so interesting. 

Favorite Lyric: “This love will keep us through blinding of the eyes”


8. Solo 

A recurring theme in this album is loneliness. There are conflicting emotions in this song which can be portrayed using the bull and the matador. This is obviously going to cause hurt to the people involved, leaving them solo. Although this might seem better at first, it becomes too much. Loneliness is detrimental to one’s soul. 

Favorite Lyric: “Now your baby mama ain’t so vicious/All she want it a picket fence/And you protest and you picket sign/But them courts won’t side with you”


7. Skyline to

This has been a song that has been slowly creeping up towards the top of my list with each listen. With the mention of summer, it shows the freedom he has to do whatever he wants whenever he wants (sex and drugs). I think it’s such a well put together song lyrically and instrumentally. 

Favorite Lyric: “Sunrise in sight, in comes a morning, haunting us with the beams”


6. Nikes

A critical observation on how materialism provides pleasure, but that should not be the only thing in our lives which causes pleasure. People look towards others around them in search of material possessions rather than love or forming deeper bonds and relationships. Relationships should be based on soul connections, not what materials the other person can provide you with. 

Favorite Lyric: “I’m not him but I’ll mean something to you”


5. Self Control

One of my absolute favorite songs. Self Control is a song about the downfall of a relationship. At first the relationship was a rush, but it hit its high and then started to dwindle. The love between the two is still there, but the entire relationship is doomed. The lyric “‘cause you see me like a UFO” shows he is not in this person’s life as consistently as he once was, but he later goes on saying he wishes he was. This person makes him do things he didn’t think he could, and although this causes regret, he misses them. 

Favorite Lyric: “Now and then you miss it sounds make you cry/Some nights, you dance with tears in your eyes”


4. Ivy 

Another song about one of Frank’s encounters of young love that was not meant to be anything more than friendship. He was absolutely blindsided by a friend confessing their love for him. He resents them for ruining this friendship he loved and cherished, but he’ll always love them and nothing can change that. He reflects on past memories in this friendship. This was a song that was at the top of my list for a really long time. It is one of my all time favorites. 

Favorite Lyric: “All the things I didn’t mean to say I didn’t mean to/There were things you didn’t need to say/Did you need to? Mean to”


3. Siegfried

This song is a reflection of Frank’s love life and effects this relationship causes to his inner self. It’s like he is addressing this person who he did love and then self reflecting on how that relationship made him feel. There is kind of a struggle to realize he can live a life where he can enjoy himself. He has these thoughts that he should just conform to society’s ideas of what a person his age should be doing rather than doing what makes him happy. There’s this massive pressure on him that he cannot get rid of. He does not want to live this life and the song is a cry for help in a way. He is able to speak to his audience in a way that’s not like “I’m famous, this is my problem”, but more in a way that’s like allowing anyone who is listening to understand and relate to this problem. He is able to make his experience universal and that is one of the things I love most about his music. 

Favorite Lyric: “Been living from an idea/An idea from another man’s mind”


2. Nights

The song touches on a previous relationship of Frank’s. The beginning of the song is like a “high”. The thrill and the vibrancy of the relationship is portrayed as something as thrilling as drug use here. The beat of the song is hurried and rushed even and his tone/voice is electrifying. He lets his person know he doesn’t need them anymore, he’s aggressive in this. As the song progresses, the tone starts to become lethargic and the beat starts slowing down, once again, reinforcing that idea of his duality. Eventually, he hits that “comedown” from his high. The more relaxing, yet more depressing beat towards the end of the song, more of a regretful tone. He is single handedly tearing this relationship apart and he can do nothing to fix what he’s done. He sounds absolutely defeated. The double meaning behind the song with drug use and the downfalls of his relationship is something that makes this song so insanely beautiful. 

Favorite Lyric: “Wanna see Nirvana but don’t wanna die, yet”


1. White Ferrari  

One of my favorite songs of all time. There are few songs that match the feeling, the energy, and the emotion that this song brings. A song reflecting on a car ride with his first love. He knows this person so well, they find comfort in each other’s company. These car rides were something he looks back on with such love, but he keeps this love to himself. He understands  he is feeling something, but can’t comprehend just quite what it is. Although he tries to make his love known, he is unsuccessful. It’s just such a beautiful song and I feel like there’s just something about the song that resonates with me so much. 

Favorite Lyric: “I care for you still and I will forever”


This is one of my favorite albums of all time. There is just something so special about each and every track on it that makes it such an amazing album. If you haven’t already, I really recommend checking it out.