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Frank Ocean--"Blonde"

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After years of waiting (well, for some people) Frank Ocean's new album, the work formerly known as Boys Don't Cry, has dropped. It's been released exclusively through iTunes and only as an album--individual songs can't be purchased.

Here's The New York Times:

Mr. Ocean announced on his Tumblr in 2012 that when he was 19 he fell in love with a man. Sexual fluidity and ambiguity play key parts in the new projects. The magazine features both nude men and women, and there are small references to gender nonconformity throughout these works: a shot of Mr. Ocean wearing strong eyeliner in the “Nikes” video, and another in the middle of a car-based photo shoot in the magazine; or a sample of the drag icon Crystal LaBeija, taken from the documentary “The Queen,” on “Endless.” And most vividly, his album is called “Blonde,” but its cover reads “blond,” alongside a photo of Mr. Ocean, his short hair dyed neon green — the feminine, the masculine, the none of the above.

Rolling Stone:

When his words are clear, Frank Ocean sings about youth and sensuality. "We're not kids no more," he sings over the Twin Peaks–like glow of "Ivy." He sounds brazenly erotic when he asserts on "Solo," "I'll be your boyfriend in your wet dreams tonight." But on one of the album's highlights, "Seigfried," he sings plaintively, "I couldn't gauge your fears/I can't relate to my peers/I'd rather live outside/I'd rather chip my pride than lose my mind out here." He offers only fleeting hints of what that sense otherness might mean, as on "Good Guy," a spare keyboard-and-voice interlude where he says to a date, "Here's to the gay bar you took me to."

Here's a [NSFW] music video for the song "Nikes."

I'm intrigued enough--and enjoyed Channel Orange enough--that I've gone through the immense difficulty of redownloading that buggy monster, iTunes, and signing up for three months of their free music service. If I can ever get the application to run correctly, I'll be giving Blonde a spin shortly.

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About a listen and a half in and I'm digging the album. 

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Boy, do I hate iTunes. But I got hooked-in to it during my college years and never escaped. I've happily avoided all other Apple products, though, 

I look forward to listening to this.

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So far, I'm a fan. Highlights for me are "White Ferrari" and "Seigfried." I might even like it more than Channel Orange, though I'm in the minority in considering that former album good-but-not-great, and I'll need to give Blond (or is it Blonde?) a few more listens.

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All my almost 500 gigs of music is on ITunes, not sure what I would want to use other than it. 

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