Frank Ocean has returned to the music charts with his surprise second album Blonde, and we’re naming “Ivy” the best song of the week. During the four agonizing years since his debut album Channel Orange, fans were left to digest and decipher his tales of addiction and love. “Ivy” delivers a more in-depth look into Frank’s relationship history, tackling heartbreak head-on with anecdotal moments tip-toeing the line between friendship and adolescent romantic relationship. The two guitar melody makes his lyrics float together like a dream, yet don’t take away from the intimacy of the story.
The opening verses deliver a swell of emotions familiar to anyone who is in a “pinch me” state when they are told they are loved the first time. He sings, “I thought that I was dreaming when you said you loved me/The start of nothing/I had no chance to prepare/I couldn’t see you coming/It started from nothing.” But he quickly transitions to future feelings of hatred displayed on the outside, and a mutual love hidden beneath, saying, “I could hate you now/It’s quite alright to hate me now/When we both know that deep down/The feeling still deep down is good.”
Throughout the track Frank is reminiscent, confronting a relationship that could never work now because “we’ll never be those kids again.” Blonde as a whole addresses Frank’s love life, specifically as a gay man, without interference. He lays it all out on the table making more references to “he” and “him”, something he was more reluctant on before his public coming out after the release of Channel Orange. But his sexuality is not the focus of either album, unless listeners choose to make it that way. It’s refreshing to hear him exude emotions perhaps he felt he couldn’t before, and his album is only better for it.