“Nights” is an immediate highlight of Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’

Blonde deserves each and every accolade given to it in the coming weeks, each song an essential component to the album, each progressing Frank Ocean’s sound, expanding his reach. Truly, each song is a standout (that outro to “Self Control,” the hushed devastation of “Seigfried” to think of two), yet it’s “Nights” that is perhaps Ocean’s only compromise on Blonde. Whereas the majority of Blonde has us rushing towards Ocean, “Nights” is him extending an olive branch, a multi-part suite that in many ways plays as a sequel to the timeless “Pyramids.” The song begins with a washed out guitar riff that recalls the one featured on the Endless cut “Rushes” before dissolving into something more wide-open and red eyed. “Know you need the money if you gon’ survive,” Ocean sings hazily; why else work at the pyramids? The song takes another turn when a guitar riff sent down from an astral plane comes in, before Ocean returns, this time donning another voice, a more subdued and childlike tone as he raps about his dislocation following Hurricane Katrina. “Nights” ends with Ocean wanting a fresh slate, a new start. “I want to see nirvana, but I don’t wanna die,” he drawls. As intricate and detailed as the song is, its raw emotion shines through most explicitly. Frank Ocean is a lot of things on Blonde – nostalgic, wistful, prideful, at peace – and “Nights” adds something else just as important. Here, he’s left wanting more.

 

Blonde is available now via Apple Music/iTunes.

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