Written by Anthony Hess on 24th July, 2012
Iāve never been the type to sit back and listen to R&B, but I wanted to give Frank Oceanās debut LP a chance, because I am quite intrigued by his juxtaposing role in Odd Future. He is the soft and sentimental balance to the aggressive rap styling that the rest of the Wolf Gang is known for.
Channel ORANGE is the diary of Frank Ocean as much as it is a musical release. Every song sounds as if Ocean is letting his emotions speak out loud and makes for some great easy listening. Rather than hooking you in with catchy beats or infectious sing-a-longs, channel ORANGE is an album that floats comfortably through the air around you so much so that you can feel Oceanās honest sentiment of feeling alone.
The album employs the use of odd vocal samples such as TVās, video game sound effects, and at the intro to Pilot Jones, a voice saying that āthe only thing we share now is the refrigerator.ā While in some points it empowers the emotional voice in the album, at certain points, it cuts through the flow of the album in an unnecessarily interrupting manner.
Pyramids, despite its slow build in well constructed and imaginative vocals, stands out as the most produced and probably most commercial track on the album. This is the first instant where you want to groove along rather than sit back and wallow in the sentiment. If this album were a film chronicling the unrequited love and hardships of Frank Ocean, this would be the ātake to the streetsā dance scene in the rain.
Iām not really sure how to take this albumās brutal and genuine honest storytelling, as most of the R&B Iām exposed to lacks any real creativity or depth to it (unless ‘I only miss you when Iām breathing’ really is the height of intellectual quality modern education has brought us to).
Channel ORANGE goes on for a bit longer than an album with such little variety in track styling should, but I wouldnāt dismiss it for that reason. In fact, I wouldnāt dismiss it at all. Frank Ocean takes R&B down a road that doesnāt involve David Guetta, Calvin Harris or Avicci style production, but explores the true music potential behind a genre that mostly falls on commercially safe sound.
As someone that doesnāt know R&B and generally couldnāt care less about what is happening in that whole area of the music world, Frank Ocean is someone that you should give a fair listen to, and channel ORANGE is the album to do it on. He has done a number of works with OFWGKTA as well as released his mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra, but the honest voice behind unconventional beats on this album is well worth lending an ear to.
- Brian Wilson Stands Firm On Lana Del Rey And Frank Ocean Collabs
- Eagles Frontman Whinges About Frank Oceanās āIllegalā Sampling
- Frank Ocean Close To Completing New Album
- Frank Ocean Pays Chain Restaurant Chipotle To ‘F*** Off’
- LISTEN: Frank Ocean, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon & Diplo – ‘Hero’
- T-Pain: “Some Artists Won’t Work With Frank Ocean”