It finally happened, after four long years, Frank Ocean released… well, he released, something. Listed as a “visual album,” Frank’s Endless hit Apple Music late Thursday night and set the Internet on fire. For Apple Music subscribers, the 18-track album plays while Frank builds his literal and metaphorical spiral staircase in black and white, and that’s it. No MP3s, no streaming audio, no purchase option for the songs, simply a 45-minute video of a couple of Frank Ocean clones building stairs for your personal consumption.
This is not to make any judgments of the music, it’s just clear this was meant to be consumed by unconventional means. Frank is hardly the first to debut an album by way of an extended video, but he might be the first present it only in that manner, aside from producer/singer The-Dream. What is next for Frank? Because there is clearly something. Before Frank could finish placing the last step on his staircase, the rumors were abound. So let’s sort through them while we wait for his next move. Again.
Another Album Is Coming
The most abundant rumor that was confirmed by multiple publications after Endless dropped is that Frank has a traditional new album on the way, and sooner rather than later. Originally it was Boys Don’t Cry, the album Frank announced a year ago. That made sense, given his original announcement included the caption “I got two versions. I got twooo versions…” so two albums seemed logical. Eventually, Rolling Stone, who clearly has a well placed source, confirmed the rumor and then noted that Ocean had apparently changed the album’s name. What the new name is remains unknown, as does the reason for the change.
The Second Project Is Coming This Weekend
The as-of-now nameless album is set to hit Apple Music at some point “this weekend” and what will appear there is anybody’s guess. At least one Endless track was heard last year, Frank’s Isley Brothers/Aaliyah cover “At Your Best (You Are Love),” previously listed as “You Are Luhh” on the day that would have been Aaliyah’s 36th birthday. In fact, a more stripped down version of the cover still exists on Frank’s Tumblr.
A Lot Of Artists Who Spoke About Working With Frank Aren’t On Endless
The concept of a second album also jives with all of the previous reports from artist who allegedly worked on the album, including Lil B and Iamsu who don’t appear on Endless. In fact, of the artists who publicly spoke about Frank’s album, only James Blake is included on Endless.
His New Album Will Probably Feature Versions Of Some Endless Tracks
In theory, the album could feature tracks from Endless, either remixed or simply carried over from the film. With the reported features not on Endless, though, there should at least be some new music. He’s had four years to create new music, surely he’s had enough time for two, completely separate and original albums. At some point, you would assume he also released a studio quality version of Endless, at the least to appease fans.
But ultimately, this may be the way Frank wanted Endless to be consumed, with the visual and audio of him building a staircase in the background, so as an artist quirk, it’s possible that he never will release it in another medium. Who knows? The only thing that can be stated for sure is that Frank Ocean is finally back, and the world is waiting on and trying to guess what’s next.