In a year that has seen the best of music so far, one of the most anticipated albums has been Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange. In very little time Frank has grown into one of the more prolific singer/songwriters for not only himself but others in the music industry. Originally a member of the Los Angeles collective rap group Odd Future, Frank Ocean is perhaps not only the most appealing but also the most talented.
Frank first caught the attention of many in 2011 after the release of his critically acclaimed mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra. Since then, the anticipation for his major label debut has been widely expected by plenty. Perhaps the most interesting part about Frank Ocean’s overall sound is the new wave of experimental R&B that he has crafted. Only really mastered by a few such as Frank Ocean and Canadian artist The Weeknd, Channel Orange brings forth the next evolution of R&B.
From the very start of the album that includes ambient sounds and a PlayStation start up, Channel Orange begins both mysteriously and unexpectedly. “Thinkin Bout You”, the second track and lead single, Frank’s euphoric voice accompanies a synth layer cycle with deep drum hits that make for a proclamation of romance. Other notable tracks include “Super Rich Kids” that has a feature from fellow OF member Earl Sweatshirt, the epic 10 minute stripper track “Pyramids”, the heavy organ oriented and heartfelt “Bad Religion”, and my favorite track from the album, “Pink Matter” which features a ridiculous verse from former Outkast member Andre 3000.
All in all, Channel Orange examines themes of lost love, drug abuse, and open sexuality but in a way that leaves the listener in a nirvana. Frank Ocean has possibly reached the closest thing to soul we’ve heard since Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder but with the futuristic production of today’s age. This just happens to sound perfectly. 4.5/5.
By: KRUA Music Manager Felipe Godoy