After years of hype and speculation it seems that Frank season is finally upon us. As of last night the world received its first official taste of new music with the release of the new visual album “Endless”.
The warehouse scenes that have been teased for the last few weeks now finally have context and the music that we hear is a serious treat for our long-awaiting ears. From what reports are saying “Endless” is a side project from the “Boys Don’t Cry” final release and is to be seen as a separate body of work to the long awaited new album. What you hear sounds raw, acoustic and unfinished, (which of course it isn’t) but is brilliantly pieced together to be in keeping with the visuals that unfold in front of us. Frank who both executively produced this album and guided its creative direction has been joined on the new work by long-time collaborator James Blake, Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood as well as a welcome appearance from London’s own Sampha.
It’s way too early to give a completely objective opinion on the first listen. As Frank fans we’ve all been waiting tirelessly for glimmers of his new work. It seemed as if the world was near on imploding when the album wasn’t released at the end of July. Holding onto every blog post and tweet I’m sure everyone is just pleased to finally enjoy some new music. So to say it sounds amazing would of course be purely based on hype, but to be negative about it would only make you guys think I’m bitter about the time it’s taken for this new music to finally come to light. (Which I still kind of am Frank!)
But on a first listen it does deliver, there isn’t one point where it feels like the new direction is too far from what we love as Frank fans, but there’s enough to keep a listener intrigued to its further development. Track highlights including the previously leaked Isley Brother’s cover “At Your Best (You Are Love)” and “Alabama” are not too distant from what we’ve heard before, but shows Frank has definitely refined and progressed his sound since “Channel Orange”. The Californian, wavy beach boy’s style is still there, but it’s been brought up to speed for the modern age.
And it seems the people were also right in guessing what Frank was creating. As the video unfolds, Frank’s wood work skills slowly begin to form the makings of a curved staircase. (Well done to you Frank stans out there). As a 45 minute video of someone working in a warehouse accompanied by backing music, it is still completely captivating and emotive throughout. As a first taste of what is to come, it is safe to say that the influence from what Frank is releasing will most certainly be and rightly named, “Endless”.