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Jun 24, 2018







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Frank Ocean, Blond (Boys Don’t Cry Records)




Ohlayindigo, Phases (Crescent Heights Records)

Geez, T’Pau has risen from the grave, in the form of a girl-boy duo who hail from San Francisco by way of Norway (her) and Britain (him). This is bubblegum so sugary you’d need a crowbar to get it off your shoe, a grandiose mixture of Abba, 1980s synth-pop and Kesha, singer Hanna Ponth holding her own as a potential diva of sorts. It’s not clear who’s responsible for these beats (Zak Shrapnell is credited only as the drummer), but I suppose that’ll be de rigueur soon enough, what with the lack of difficulty associated with making them these days, not to mention the music community’s finally admitting that it’s not necessary to add microscopic “human” time-keeping mistakes to otherwise perfect cyber-loops. But yeah, this is awesome stuff, pushing every last angst-button to bring back the summer when you were 13 years old and beginning to realize what was coming, the heartache, the joy, all those things. The hooks are big and wide, and I could go on, but if technopop (I hesitate to label it futurepop, even if it does have its moments) is your thing, you should simply toddle off and punch this up on your device right now. A — Eric W. Saeger




Frank Ocean, Blond (Boys Don’t Cry Records)
CD Reviews: September 8, 2016

09/08/16
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Frank Ocean, Blond (Boys Don’t Cry Records)

Now officially the Smoky Robinson of soul-hip-hop crossover, Frank Ocean has finally released this album, this after prefacing it a few weeks ago with a dubious 45-minute “visuals” piece, which didn’t make his breathless fans any happier. The response from his minions has been pretty funny, with lots of breathless adoration mixed in with the arguing about the actual spelling of the title, which, as the always-Switzerland Wikipedia notes, is “stylized” from “Blonde.” How exciting for his minions, who apparently never heard any 1960s soul, or Gnarls, or Jamie Lidell, etc. Anyway, the munchkin-voiced “Nikes” single leads off, the sample coming from the 1968 single “The Champ” by the Mohawks, which basically sets the tone for half of everything here, mellow samples from the likes of Todd Rundgren, The Beatles and even Gang of Four. It’d be a swindle if it all weren’t awesome and timely, from the righteously pretty Beyonce-guested “Pink+White” to the pensive, mumbled self-examination of “Futura Free.” A — Eric W. Saeger





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