Frank Ocean's New "Visual" Album 'Endless' Is Better Without the Visuals

August 19, 2016 9:26 PM

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Frank Ocean's New "Visual" Album 'Endless' Is Better Without the Visuals

Though it has been described as such all across the Internet, calling Frank Ocean’s Endless a “visual album” instantly makes me recall the old cartoon show Gumby and the Black folklore figure known as Reach Armstrong. Sure, there is a visual component to the album. We are forced to click play and are provided the visual of Frank Ocean building a staircase while 45 minutes worth of new music plays in the background, serving as a de facto score to what has already been hailed as something that “mixes the avant garde with the accessible.”

Still, “visual album,” which already had a loose definition but is noticeably expanding by the week, feels too generous a term. Endless, with the same minimalist, black-and-white imagery shown throughout, doesn’t really resonate in the way Beyoncé’s Lemonade, Suede’s Night Thoughts, Kanye West’s Run...

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