After more than a year of speculation and anguish from fans, Frank Ocean's third album Boys Don't Cry will soon be available for your listening pleasure. The LP is finally dropping this Friday, August 5th, as an Apple Music exclusive, The Verge has confirmed. Boys Don't Cry will be accompanied by a print magazine of the same name, which will be available at Apple stores, according to The New York Times.
The follow-up to 2012's acclaimed R&B opus Channel Orange was announced through a Tumblr post last April, and tags associated with the post indicated that the album would be released in July 2015. The post also hinted at the aforementioned magazine release. Ocean remained silent regarding any more details about the album over the next few months, and fans worked themselves into a froth as the end of July neared. If your Twitter feed featured any R&B fans, you probably became privy to pictures and Vines of people sobbing and raging over the album's impending release and lack of information. When July came and went without new music, some fans refused to acknowledge the month's end until Boys Don't Cry hit their headphones. Now an entire year has gone by, but it seems like those fans might finally get their wish — as long as Ocean doesn't change his mind.
Early this morning, Ocean's website was updated with a live stream hosted by Apple Music, which featured Ocean tinkering around in a woodworking shop. The mysterious video didn't give away much except for some brief clips of ambient music; it's not clear if they were snippets from Boys Don't Cry.
Ocean began his career as a songwriter-for-hire before connecting with the Los Angeles hip-hop collective Odd Future. He released his first mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra, in February 2011, and it was feted for its omnivorousness and surreal, dreamy sense of personality. A few months later, Ocean was featured on Jay Z and Kanye West's collaborative LP Watch the Throne, with vocal work and writing credits on opener "No Church in the Wild" and "Made in America." Most recently he appeared on West's The Life of Pablo.
He made music more progressive through his elegance and honesty
He was an obvious talent, but Channel Orange's 2012 release made him a star. The album was universally recognized as one of the best of the year by critics, and was also nominated for six Grammy awards. It was commercially successful, too, debuting at #2 on the Billboard album charts. And in an elegant and brief note published on Tumblr a week before the album's release, Ocean told the world he was bisexual. It was a revelation that rendered the album's love songs even more affecting and helped to make music a more progressive space. Boys Don't Cry probably won't have the same social impact as Channel Orange — let's find out how it fares in terms of songcraft.