Frank Ocean ‘thinks ahead’ in new album
Posted on Aug 16, 2012 in Features
“Do you not think so far ahead?”
You may have heard this line once or twice on Frank Ocean’s viral hit “Thinkin Bout You.” If you’re really hip, then you’ve probably already heard his debut album “Channel Orange.”
For those not so familiar with Ocean, he is a unique yet extremely talented new artist that released his first album on July 17. He actually had a surprise early digital release on July 10.
Though he says its was always in the plans, no one saw it coming. It was a brilliant marketing strategy that not only sparred him the now normal early leak, but also boasted an impressive debut for him. The record debuted on the Billboard 200 at number two and on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart at number one. He sold 131,000 copies his first week, which is right on par with Chris Brown and Usher’s first week numbers, this being there umpteenth album and Ocean’s first.
Some people credit his rise to the fact that Frank came out of the closet on July 4. His choice to do so was probably because of the lyrics to his songs being out, where he clearly suggest having feelings for another guy. The rumors spread, so he cleared the air. He clarified that the letter where he address this was published on his Tumblr account but was already put in the album booklet so it was going to come out regardless.
Whether people believe him or not is irrelevant at this point; the music speaks for itself. “Channel Orange” is an exceptional package that takes you on a journey through his thoughts and feelings about life. Lead single, “Thinkin Bout You” is probably still the best song he’s done thus far. Though initially this was just a cover of a song he wrote for another artist, it quickly became known as his song. It made sense that it would be on this album.
“Sweet Life” was one of the early releases from the record and is thought to be a single. It’s a beautiful song that talks about living a privileged life yet not really living. He sings, “Why see the world, when you got the beach?”
It’s hard to decipher what’s a single and what’s not because Frank very rarely does interviews or promotion at all. He’s made it clear that he’s not about the limelight, but even Beyonce graces the masses every now and again. He released the almost ten minute long “Pyramids,” which is said to be a single. The song is really two pieces. Both are really good, but it’s almost impossible for the full song to get any good air play.
Hopefully he clears things up and maybe releases “Super Rich Kids,” featuring Earl Sweatshirt. It’s a fan favorite and another song that talks about the deeper meaning behind life with wealth and privilege. “Bad Religion” is the first song he ever performed on national television. It was an amazing performance. He sang, “it’s a bad religion, to be in love with someone, who could never love you.”
This is something he actually experienced and told the world about. People have to realize this guy is truly genuine and extremely humble.
He also has a superb track with Andre 3000 called “Pink Matter.” He closes the record with “Forrest Gump,” another fan favorite that is also easily relatable.
Ocean has a bonus track that only comes with the physical copy of the record called, “Golden Girl.” That’s a twist, since it’s usually the opposite. Frank Ocean is not a conventional artist, so this is to be expected. He has some interesting interludes, a few features and very vintage sound that make up the 17 tracks. He used some old recording equipment instead of going to the studio for the majority of the album. It’s definitely not a coincidence.
If you don’t already own “Channel Ora,” you’re missing out on music history in the making.