Frank Ocean’s new album features several top artists

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Francis Smith
fdsmith@radford.edu

With deep and pensive lyrics and beats to match the very mood he conveys, Frank Ocean is one to definitely get into.

His music gives off a mellow feel, yet key parts of his latest album Channel Orange have suggested that Frank is hitting a new level in his musical career. The album features artists such as rapper Earl Sweatshirt, on Frank’s song “Super Rich Kids” and Andre 3000 on “Pink Matter”.

Ocean’s lyrics are meant to make one think and blow minds of those who didn’t really see it coming. From his first song, “Thinkin’ Bout You” he pulls you in with something soft and sweet, yet takes your head for a spin and relating you to his life all at once with this song about love. Moving into the next song, he takes on the concept of his album’s name by making “Fertilizer” sound like he’s changing channels and has his own station that he controls. It’s different to begin an album with after such a slow song like “Thinkin’ Bout You”, yet he pulls it off perfectly to where it relates to the rest of the album.

He continues to have a theme of going back and forth between slow and fast paced songs, and continues to keep the idea of deep cognitive thought without losing the retention of the audience.  “Sweet Life,” is a story explaining a play on how someone would never want to leave and expand their horizons when they have everything in front of them. It continues to amaze me how Ocean plays off these concepts of society and how we live and continuously mocks higher living, including taking jabs at himself every now and then.  One thing that could have been stronger would have been the transition from one song to the next. The song order completely made sense, yet for some reason, it didn’t flow to me. It just abruptly jumps from one to another.

Ocean delivers an even more powerful lyrical performance when “Super Rich Kids” plays. It explains rich kids and the reality of living the high life. From there, he continues to astound with songs like “Pyramids” explaining the night life and the girls who work at strip clubs, “Bad Religion” which talks about religion and “Pink Matter” which is one of his deepest lyrical song of the entire album. Not only does he lyrically impress and astonish, he also has a way with taking pop culture and making it into good music. A prime example of this would be “Forrest Gump”. This song pretty much sounds like he wrote a theme song for the movie, yet still works with the album altogether. Overall, the album works well together and Ocean sets the bar high with his vocals and lyrics. With strong beats and some impressive concepts for music, Channel Orange is definitely one to get and keep on your iPod.