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Blonde is one of those things you have to praise out of fear of looking gauche. No one will admit they don’t get it, and certainly no one will come right out and say it’s unintelligible, cacophonous drivel; the aural version of reading a book backward. It is has precisely zero coherence or continuity, rhythmically, sonically, conceptually. It is an album of loud noises; a chorus of untuned, inharmonious clamors, as though he entered the studio blindfolded and started mashing buttons and enunciating into the mic at the same time whatever happened to be trouncing through his brain. It is physically painful to listen to, so aesthetically barren as it it. But, this is to be expected, his place in the creative arc being what it is. Made anxious by his own influence, the tyranny of success, he tried reinventing his artistry, and in doing so, forgot himself. We’ve seen this before. By album three, he’ll build upward from Channel Orange’s genius.

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