2016 Year In Review: Frank Ocean & Maxwell’s Comebacks Fail To Live Up To Hype

Published: Wednesday 7th Dec 2016 by Rashad

Scribbled in history books for some good and not-so-good reasons, 2016 brought with it some of modern music’s most memorable moments.

Now, as the year draws to a close, TGJ is reflecting on 31 moments that rocked – and to some degree shaped – the Urban and Pop musical landscape as we know it.

Next, we reflect on two of the year’s biggest letdowns…Frank Ocean‘s long-awaited comeback album ‘Blond’ and Maxwell‘s ‘blackSUMMERSnight’:


Frank Ocean, a celebrated singer/songwriter who’s penned hits for himself as well as some of Urban music’s most prized acts (Beyonce, Brandy, Justin Bieber, etc.), sent fans into musical starvation mode after withholding tastes of what he was serving via the follow-up to his 2012 critically acclaimed debut, ‘Channel Orange.’  Finally, after what felt like forever, summer 2016 saw the ‘Pyramids’ performer begin to build anticipation for the project through cryptic messages shared on social media.  By mid-August 2016 fans finally had the full length set, titled ‘Blond,’ in their hands and ears.

Blasting to #1 on the Billboard 200 with a whopping 276,000 units moved (the third highest opening week of the year at the time of its release), the feat was all the more impressive given the lack of promotion afforded to the project.  Yet, while at first the album seemed poised for (what everyone expected would be) some serious commercial success, the harshest criticism seemed to come from those who wanted ‘Blond’ most – his fans.

MTV’s Franchesca Ramsey seemed to sum up the sentiment of many:


By no means a failure on any front – critically or commercially – ‘Blond’ was certainly a critical polarizer that not only lost fans among the buying public, but also among power players at his label home and even prospective label options (see:  ‘Frank Ocean Unable to Secure Distribution for ‘Blond’ Due To Independent Surprise Release’).

As we are keen to see when and how the response to this project impacts his future releases, we can say that for many – some of us at TGJ HQ included – the wait for ‘Blond’ just may have not been worth it.  Hopefully Fo3 won’t take as many years.



Elsewhere over 2016’s Urban music landscape, the top of the year saw fans thrilled to learn Grammy-winning crooner Maxwell was finally ready to launch the second installment of ‘blacksummersnight’ trilogy.  Kicked off by the promising ‘Lake by the Ocean,’ Max fans found themselves more and more disappointed by the numbers that followed it.

Released nearly 7 years after its predecessor, ‘BLACKsummersnight,’ installment #2 – titled ‘blackSUMMERSnight’ – only sold 59,000 its first week (barely a fifth of the sum its 2009 forerunner sold its first week).  The figure, attributed in part to the declining industry’s sales in general, were (according to some) due to the fact that Max simply dropped the ball with the project.

Will it have any impact on the final installment of the trilogy?  According to the maestro himself, we won’t have to wait nearly as long to find out.

Your thoughts?


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  1. ? December 7, 2016

    Blond was trash. This should’ve been Maxwells coming out album, but it was a closet queen record.

    • Danzou December 7, 2016

      Y’all always want someone to be gay. Lol no one else wants what you want and it makes you sound so lonely and bitter. F**.

      • ? December 7, 2016

        Aren’t you a bottom though

      • Danzou December 7, 2016

        Yawn. No I’ve never had my pork chops pounded by other men. That’s all your poor brain can ever come up with. You hate yourself and it’s obvious. Hahahahahhahhhh

      • Max December 7, 2016

        @Danzou so you the one that’s pounding other men’s “pork chops” ? Okay I see you girl

      • Danzou December 7, 2016

        @randomfag no. I don’t.

      • Max December 7, 2016

        Okay I sis I get it, you’d rather keep it on the DL ??

      • Danzou December 7, 2016

        Yawn. You can go to hell alone. I’m good.

      • ? December 7, 2016

        You seem to know a lot about pounding. Sound like a power bottom.

      • Danzou December 7, 2016

        Pounding WOMEN yes. Lol y’all are something else. No one else likes that nasty s*** but you.

      • Supreme Diva December 7, 2016

        Danzou said that he doesn’t get his “porkchops pounded by other men.” Apparently, he meant that he allows butch dÿkes pound his pûssy with strap-on dïldos.

      • Danzou December 7, 2016

        @supreme lol!

    • Jasmine December 8, 2016

      Wishfull thinking on your part I guess. Maxwell is not gay just because you wish him to be. Their albums did not meet expectations because they did not promote. I suspect something personal is going on in Frank Ocean’s life because he is not even touring, which is where the money is at. Maxwell is touring so he is making money that way.

  2. #JACKIE December 7, 2016

    Maxwells single sounded like something he released from his last album. Frank is just a dud.

    • Supreme Diva December 7, 2016

      Perhaps, Frank and Maxwell should offer Ciara advice on how to create anticipation of her new music because the world didn’t care about her being the recording studio the other day creating another future flop.

      • Danzou December 7, 2016

        The last time Ciara hit the studio she created a platinum selling rnb hit. The only girl that year to do it. When will you?

  3. Danzou December 7, 2016

    They were both fine. Just cuz the awards shows didn’t appreciate doesn’t mean they didn’t live up to hype.

  4. Jay December 7, 2016

    Beyonce’s Lemonade didn’t live up to the Hype neither, while she may have 9 Grammy nods, let’s be real! Her self titled album BEYONCÉ is still better! I don’t feel like these albums were “Overhyped” these sites like “ThatGrapeJuice” are the ones that hypes the albums and are dramatic about it, also Fans take the blame to; trying to compare every album to each other and pin artist against each other etc. At the end of the day I just want a solid offering and Frank ocean & Max Well gave us that. Stfu

    • Danzou December 7, 2016

      Lol RIGHT!

    • Surprise..(DEC 2013) December 7, 2016

      When self-titles was released, you all bashed it calling it boring. When bey releases her next album…you will once again flip flop and say lemonade was better..LMAO

      • Danzou December 7, 2016

        No one bashed self titled. I just don’t understand why Beyonce fans are so stupid. No one bashed self titled, she just was see through. All of a sudden Beyonce of all artists starts talking about getting nutted on the back of a limousine which I still feel like is beneath her. She was jacking rih style and used feminism to avoid criticism. That’s why she was criticized for spineless. The actual album was fine and much better than lemonade.

  5. Kiii December 7, 2016

    Blond was very disappointing overall . It all sounded like one long monotonous song after 2 listens. So I’ll just stick to listening to his previous stuff

  6. Kiii December 7, 2016

    It was only a matter of time one of you mentioned Beyoncé. Y’all hate her but stay talking about her, it’s hilarious

    • XoMoDe December 7, 2016

      Bey lives in their heads rent free.

  7. oopsUPsideDaHead December 7, 2016

    Blond had my blood pressure dropping —it was D.O.A.

    Maxwell needs a new sound… had a promising single that drown before it got to the ocean.

  8. Thando December 7, 2016

    Hey, hey, hey, hey, I’m a member of Frank Ocean’s Beehive! Don’t talk like that! BLONDE was a masterpiece and I DON’T care what anybody says. Without him they’d be no “I miss you” and “Superpower” for your queen. So hush, ok. BLONDE was the s*** man.

    • Danzou December 7, 2016

      Thank you. They love Frank when he’s feeding their faves with music but not his actual music itself. Sad.

    • oopsUPsideDaHead December 7, 2016

      Maybe BLONDE was a masterpiece I didn’t hear , but “BLOND” was boring!

  9. King B December 7, 2016

    With all the hypes, I thought Channel Orange was some kind of groundbreaking album. I’m surprised that the album only spend 40 weeks on chart and sold only 600k.

    • Kiii December 7, 2016

      How much has your album sold? How many weeks did it spend on the charts? Yeah I thought as much so how about you shove your irrelevant opinions you bitter faaag

      • Danzou December 7, 2016

        @kii ha!

  10. Y’all Poor AF December 7, 2016

    Neither of these albums were bad, they just weren’t the typical male R&B y’all are used to. Now let’s not get it twisted, if Frank actually submitted Blond to be nominated for Grammys, he most likely would’ve swept the R&B categories and possibly won AOTY too

  11. Boosie December 7, 2016

    Blond sounded dated, like he recorded it months after his debut but it was held hostage.
    I was really disappointed with Maxwell as well. All I have to say is thank goodness for Solange. I’ve been sitting at her table for months.

  12. We Nowqd Redv dimnobut it ash trjoan ivy blobukz Need UK timely Ukuno eremxil December 8, 2016

    Frank ocean album was Oky

  13. ttyl December 8, 2016

    MAXWELL is and AUTHENTIC singer songwriter , Actor ,and a loving man stop hating

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