Like

A List of Good Things to Do While Listening to Frank Ocean

This is not a review.

So, before you continue reading, let me make this clear: This is not a review of Frank Ocean’s Blonde.

Or Frank Ocean’s Blond.

Or Frank Ocean’s Endless.

Or Frank Ocean’s Boys Don’t Cry.

Or Frank Ocean’s Spiral Staircased Real Time (And Waaaay Too Ambitious) Application For Home Depot Merchandising Service Specialist.

Or whatever the hell else Frank Ocean decides to release in the 70 to 116 minutes I’ll spend writing this. Because I am not qualified to write a proper review of things Frank Ocean does. Nor is anyone else for that matter, because existing as Peak Vulnerability—which is what Frank Ocean, a raw and transubstantiated sciatic nerve injected with non-alcoholic ginger beer, is right now—makes you impervious to critique.

And, even if it wasn’t literally impossible to accurately review any of the music he’s released in the last week, I wouldn’t. Because, according to Sunglasses and Advil Twitter, it takes (at least) two months of listening to music before you can even begin to consider assessing it. And I don’t want to feel Sunglasses and Advil Twitter’s 140-character wrath.

So again, this. Is. Not. A. Review. Instead, it will be two completely separate and specifically-not-a-review things:

A) My description of what Blonde sounds like

(Imagine if a stainless steel Whirlpool Chrome Shadow Steam Electric Dryer grew sentient, became obsessed with Massive Attack and Michael Haneke, and moved to Prince George County to consult at Booz Allen Hamilton. Blonde would be the sound it makes while having sex with a dry erase marker.)

B) A list of things you can (and should) do while listening to this album. Which, ultimately is just a list of things I did while listening to this album.

1. Think of best friends of ex-girlfriends, and conclude whether they had a net positive or net negative effect on your relationship. Then, reluctantly admit that said best friend was/is a great friend to your ex.

2. Google symptoms for dog gout. And then, when done googling, check and see if your dog has dog gout. If your dog doesn’t have dog gout, continue googling other things. If you dog does have dog gout, well, don’t do anything about that either because why would you treat a 15-year-old dog’s dog gout?

3. Attempt to do 50 push-ups, but stop at 34 because those first 34 were surprisingly (and disappointingly) difficult, and doing 16 more would just be overkill.

4. Hold your nine-month-old baby, and attempt to sit in silence with her while you both listen to “Nikes.”

5. Remember that time in 2012 when you were in your car listening to “Bad Religion” and the windows were open and the volume was at the max and you felt “if it brings me to my knees” so deeply in your spirit that you started singing it and then you started crying.

6. Remind yourself never to share that story with anyone you’re not sleeping with again.

7. Attempt (again) and fail (again) to find a trace of Beyonce on "Pink + White."

8. Finish eating the garlic prawn and coleslaw wrap sitting next to your laptop.

9. Call your accountant. Not because you need him or anything. You just know (through Facebook) that it was his birthday yesterday, and you feel bad for missing it.

10. Transcribe a list of all the things you assume Drake is currently doing to cheer himself up after Andre 3000’s diss on “Solo (Reprise).” And then, after writing “attempting to make the world’s most perfect frittata” and “scouring his closet for sweaters he purchased last winter but never wore,” discontinue the list because it’s cruel and not cool to make fun of someone’s pain.

Read more