Frank Ocean recently unveiled a new visual project, titled Endless, to go along with his highly anticipated album Blonde, and the dust hasn’t quite settled. Even the video for “Nikes,” seen below, is lighting up the web.

While fans may still be digesting and processing the release, critics haven’t wasted any time sinking their teeth in over the weekend. After a four-year wait, reviews remain largely positive, suggesting that Frank was right to take his time. Not only did some of the world’s foremost publications and media outlets provide their two cents on the album, but fellow musicians and collaborators were also quick to sing praise.

Here’s what the critics had to say…

“Ocean sings like he’s in church, and his tone is open, a quiver of emotion audible. An organ plays, and it’s as if he’s envisioning the Last Supper: “The table is prepared for you.” It turns out that while his fans were busy waiting, Frank Ocean was preparing a feast.”

– Greg Kot, The Chicago Tribune (4 Stars out of 4)

Blonde makes for sensationally beautiful background music that can morph into a bizarre hodgepodge of disparate ideas when you concentrate on bringing it into the foreground.”

– Neil McCormick, The Telegraph (4 Stars out of 5)

“If one word could summarise Blonde, even more than Endless, it is liquid: there is a fluidity here that is both flow and immersion. Tempos are set to easy and there are few concessions to bass/drums as scene-setters.”

– Bernard Zuel, Sydney Morning Herald (4 Stars out of 4)

Blonde and Endless are strong albums that advance Mr. Ocean’s reputation and serve as worthy successors to Channel Orange. It turns out the long wait, made longer by a coy rollout strategy, was worth it, as Mr. Ocean delivers two disks that expand the vocabulary of rock and pop and give insight into the heart and mind of a gifted musician.

– Jim Fusilli, Wall Street Journal (No Rating)

“From a distance, Mr. Ocean’s return came in fits and starts, with release plans hinted at, then abandoned. But what Mr. Ocean has achieved with the complexity of this rollout — as well as his ability to mold corporate motives to his benefit — is an almost complete reframing of his public narrative.”

– Jon Caramanica, New York Times (No Rating)

“It’s a complicated, indulgent, moody record, though, one that deals in textures and impressions more than in pop hooks and instant thrills. Its superstar guest spots are woven into the textures, not signposted.”

– Joe Muggs, The Guardian (4 Stars out of 5)

“Sonically, it [Blonde] has the same contemplative and poetic tone as Ocean’s lionized 2012 debut. In fact, it is so meditative that there are few beats at all; most of the Apple Music version is just gauzy laptop washes, pianos, laconically strummed guitars and his voice. He seems to have stripped himself to his bare thoughts, some of which he expresses inchoately.”

– Mosi Reeves, Rolling Stone (No Rating)

“His melodies are more attuned to specific states of mind rather than grand pop gestures. The words are a constant swirl of observation and flashes of memory that he conveys in a variety of ways, from bursts of confident hip-hop cadence to classic R&B belting and wandering, sing-song-y introspection.”

Kevin Ritchie, Now Toronto (No Rating)

Blonde is, at first glance, soft; it feels pliant and yielding in a way that Ocean’s past works haven’t. But just beyond that surface is a hardened core. Ocean’s voice, always easy above all else, often sounds stony but apologetic, like he’s talking to someone he’s afraid of hurting. Blonde is both full and empty; love is never allowed to exist without lack.”

Lizzie Plaugic, The Verge (No Rating)

“Instead of huge and complicated instrumentals and explosive choruses, Blonde finds power in simplicity and raw emotion.”

Anthony Fantano, The Needle Drop (8 out of 10)

“Four years after the landmark Channel Orange, two new releases from Frank Ocean find him writing richly emotional songs for a quieter, more meditative space.”

Ryan Dombal, Pitchfork (9 out of 10)

“His highly anticipated follow-up album grew in size and importance in the years following 2012, in part because he himself felt the need to craft genuine art. By definition, it’s a musician’s job to create music, but nowhere in the contract does it list meeting the expectations of fans. He owed himself a new catharsis, the type of internal searching and external experimentation that sees a human undergo changes.”

Nina Corcoran, Consequence of Sound (No Rating)

On another note, here’s what Reddit users had to say…

Stream  Frank Ocean’s Blonde album now here.

Vancouver-born, Berlin-based writer, photographer and editor with a steady hand on the keyboard.

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