“Channel Orange” by Frank Ocean
To much anticipation and controversy, Frank Ocean released his debut album titled Channel Orange to the public. Frank Ocean, who came out as being bisexual just weeks before his album release, has probably one of the most anticipated albums of the year. He didn’t go the traditional promotional route by shooting a bunch of videos for songs off the album and hyping up a release date. He actually didn’t release any videos for songs off the album and released his album a week earlier than its intended release date. Either way, his debut album does not disappoint at all. People have been waiting for a Frank Ocean album since he released his fan favorite project Nostalgia/Ultra out of nowhere which featured his catchy hit “Novacane.”
Frank Ocean’s album is filled with very diverse subject matter as well as diverse production. The songs sound very different from each other but the album as a whole is cohesive. It flows from beginning to end without any hiccups. He has only a couple features on this album from Andre 3000, Earl Sweatshirt, and John Mayer. He talks about relationships with women, men, life, love, and learning from mistakes. Everybody can identify with at least one song on his album. Although I can listen to every song on this album without skipping, here are some standouts:
- “Thinkin Bout You” – This song leaked about eight months ago and was an instant favorite among his fans. Frank blessed his fans with a mastered version for the album. This song has been received well and one of the best songs on his album. Frank spews his feelings about his love with a person that he feels strongly for.
- “Sweet Life” – This might be my favorite song on the whole album. The instrumentation along with the smooth laid back flow make this song stand out. This song is dedicated to all the children that grew up in the suburbs in a wealthy home and have lived a sweet life. The line “the best song wasn’t a single” is muttered through this song and is one of the more memorable lines from his album.
- “Super Rich Kids” featuring Earl Sweatshirt – The only collaboration on his album with another member of Odd Future is an ode to the spoiled kids in California who live care-free. Frank sings “Too many bottles of this wine we can’t pronounce/too many bowls of this green, no lucky charms/maids come around too much/parents ain’t around enough.” His interpolation of Mary J. Blige’s “Real Love” fits really well also.
- “Pyramids” – In this almost ten minute long song, Frank sings about two very different situations with women. In the first part he sings about a girl that gets away that he wants to get back badly. In the second part he takes the role of a pimp and sings about a stripper. He somehow makes these two things come together perfectly. This song is definitely a must listen.
- “Bad Religion” – This is the first song Frank began performing as he started his tour for the album. In this song, he pretends he is in the back of a cab talking to the driver about his problems. He complains about a man that he is in love with but who won’t love him back.
Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange is the best R&B album to come out in a while due to its diversity, quality, and substance. It proved that no matter what your sexual orientation is, music is always the most important thing. Frank Ocean is a very talented artist and will make great music for years to come.
By Malcolm Gray
If you liked this, check out:
Frank Ocean at The Paradise
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