Some Questions About Frank Ocean’s ‘Endless’ Visual Album
A new Frank Ocean full-length has arrived. His visual album Endless went up on Apple Music last night (August 18), and it resulted in a mad rush that was, in some ways, more confusing than the first Beyoncé surprise drop and The Life Of Pablo rollout, because there was no track breakdown (until the end credits, but even then, I saw four different versions of the tracklist show up on sites last night) and there was confusion about what it even was. Then, during the first listen, there were reports about an impending second album and that album’s name change, plus there was the fact that the Apple Music stream was butt and kept dropping out and you’d have to start over and scroll back to where you left off, and it was a video so every time you went to your messages or Twitter it paused. It was chaos, the closest thing to the fog of war that dumb old Music Twitter has.
So I have a lot of questions about Endless, and What It All Means, and you probably do, too! Or maybe you know the answers to some of these already. If so, please chime in!
What’s the significance of the staircase? Where does it go? It must mean something because the video cuts out and starts over before Frank gets to the top of it.
How long did it actually take him to build that very utilitarian, bare-bones staircase?
Why does the video start over?
Right before the video starts over, this shows up for a frame. What is it?
What do all the symbols at the end mean?
If the next part isn’t called Boys Don’t Cry, then why is this the last image of the stream? (Note it also showed up in the alleged leaks from the Boys Don’t Cry zine.)
I could swear that synth line on “Hublots” samples M83 or the Drive soundtrack but I can’t put my finger on it. Does it?
Why release this at all if it isn’t the album?
Ocean apparently didn’t have anything to do with “Device Control.” When’s the last time an artist just straight-up put someone else’s song on an album?
Does Apple realize that track, on its blockbuster super exclusive stream, shouts out the Samsung Galaxy?
So is this an album or one of these commercial “mixtapes”?
Am I overthinking this?
Is Endless good?