By Nash Jenkins
August 19, 2016

It isn’t Boys Don’t Cry, but at least it’s something. Just before midnight Thursday, Apple Music dropped a “visual album” by Frank Ocean called Endless. Both the 45-minute video and the overlaid music are ambient and smooth — perhaps a hint of what’s to come on Ocean’s long-awaited sophomore project.

For months, Boys Don’t Cry has existed only in the context of the hype surrounding its nonexistence. Only on Friday did we learn that the album is in fact real. Whether the prolonged release is the consequence of tormented genius or simply this century’s great marketing stunt does not matter — Ocean’s fans are hungry for it.

Updates have come in intermittent, tangential spurts — like the release of “Endless,” which dropped only about an hour after Ocean’s website began (for the second time this month) to play a livestream of what appears to be the artist in a sparse warehouse, tinkering away on a wooden set design, with new music in the background.

There is, of course, no precise indication of what all this means. Time will tell.

 

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