A bit late to the Frank Ocean bandwagon, I’ve only heard from him because I frequent ONTD (Oh No They Didn’t ) on Livejournal and I finally understand why people are so blown away by his music.
Frank Ocean arrived on the music scene as early as 2008, where he served as a ghost-writer for John Legend, Justin Bieber and Brandy. His mixtape ‘Nostalgia Ultra’ was named one of the best albums of 2011 by Rolling Stone and garnered a lot of celebrity admirers (Kanye West, and Beyonce to name a few). My personal favourites are ‘There Will Be Tears’, ‘Swim Good’ and ‘Novocane’ from the mixtape. But for now, let’s just stick to ‘channel ORANGE’.
Frank Ocean’s album ‘channel ORANGE’ is magical, it’s easy listening and jazzy but the lyrics are literally ocean deep. When I downloaded his album off iTunes, I expected raps added to his tracks since that is the norm of R’n'B currently. But the biggest surprise to me was how his songs have this dreamy quality to it. The fourteen-track album is a make or break for Frank Ocean, especially since it caters to so many different genres at the same time.
It’s not every day you hear a R’n'B artist asking rhetoric questions while crooning about the world today and then discussing his experiences. I’m going to be a critic and throw a shade at artists like Chris Brown and Usher who originally started out as ‘R’n'B artists’ but have now switched to more radio-friendly songs that don’t make sense(‘International Love’ and ‘Scream’). Frank Ocean, on the other hand is a combination of soul, jazz and R’n'B – he has a beautiful voice, and he uses it to hypnotize us (if you listen to ‘Pyramids’ and ‘Super Rich Kids’ you will understand what I mean).
From the start to the end, he goes all out to hook us in. My personal favourites of the first half of the album is ‘Sierra Leone’, ‘Super Rich Kids’ and ‘Sweet Life’. The first half takes time to sink in to your sense, simply because there’s this odd quality to his music.
The beauty of Frank Ocean is that you need to listen to the entire of ‘channel ORANGE’ to actually grasp just how deep he is. His lyrics just sink into your subconscious, I found myself completely addicted to ‘Bad Religion’ after a few listens and I went around humming the song for days after. If the first half assaulted you musically, it’s the second half that completely captures you. His second half on the album stands out as the real hidden gems, most notably – ‘Pyramids’, ‘White (ft. John Mayer)’, ‘Bad Religion’, ‘Pink Matter (ft. Andre 3000) and ‘Forrest Gump’.
Forest Gump – Frank Ocean
If you truly want music that just makes you fall in love with sound, listen to Frank Ocean. He’s a wonderful songwriter and he knows what he wants to convey to his audience. I enjoyed listening to ‘channel ORANGE’ and I guarantee it’s worth buying a physical copy.
If you want to listen to R’n'B, and music that isn’t only about girls, money, drinks and getting high – Frank Ocean is the man to listen to and you won’t regret it, he’s literally ocean deep.