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by Frank Ocean

Released August 19, 2016 via Def Jam Recordings

Reviewed August 18, 2021

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Higgs (63%), (At Your Best) You Are Love (42%), Rushes (38%)

The counterpart to 2016’s darling child, Blonde, Endless is the polar opposite of its sister album in almost every way. Focusing on the fractured nature of life, Frank Ocean crafts a dynamic world, filled with upfront emotional confrontation via straightforward lyricism and a diverse array of instrumentals. Frank Ocean really went for it on this one, creating a textured world filled with so many musical stylings that in theory should not work together. Yet, he makes them fit together seamlessly. Endless is his most bold release and stands toe to toe with the masterpiece that tends to overshadow it, even surpassing it in some ways. – Jared (10/10)

Where Blonde’s melancholia is ever present and apparent, the emotions of Endless border on volatile. Space to breathe is there, until it isn’t, and you’re left in tears. And even as it is often overshadowed by the subsequent release of Blonde, Endless is Frank Ocean’s most ambitious record. The risks taken instrumentally create an air of unpredictability, as acoustics and electronics clash the same way bliss and anguish compete lyrically. Because of these risks, the album’s length is felt a bit more, but the overall experience never wavers. Frank Ocean’s work is never without praise from the majority, yet Endless has always deserved more flowers. – Ben (Synth) (9/10)

In the same way nostalgia, ULTRA methodologically supplements Frank Ocean’s debut channel ORANGE, Endless supplements his cultural monolith Blonde. Endless is overshadowed by its big brother, but that’s only due to its relative inaccessibility. It’s its own beast, similarly treading lightly across avant-soul, ambient and alternative R&B, but structured in an entirely different way. Murkier mixes, a myriad of tempos and timbres, narrative incoordination, and instrumental cohesion. Moments like “Commes Des Garçons” breeze by fleetingly, but there’s enough space to soak them in just as much as longer tracks like “(At Your Best) You Are Love” do. Some tracks are unnecessarily separated from the preceding or following song––take “Mine”, “A Certain Way”, or “Honeybaby”––weirdly stunting the momentum of the album. “Commes…” and “Xenons” could easily work as two halves of a well-developed mini-song. As a film, Endless is a slog, but as an album, it’s a simultaneously intricate and minimalist thematic precursor to Blonde. – Cam (8.8/10)

Jared: 10/10 | Hadley: 9.5/10 | Ben (Synth): 9/10 | DeVán: 9/10

Pax: 8.9/10 | Alan: 8.5/10 | Daniel: 8.5/10 | Dominick: 7.5/10


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