Frank Ocean belongs to a tiny sub-genre of artists who possess the ability to sing in falsetto about a girl smoking crack and still sound like a fucking angel.
It’s a rare gift, and it’s one of the reasons why Frank’s character is so captivating. Channel Orange demands to be listened to in a single sitting, its tracks interwoven by the ambient noise of middle America – video games, TV commercials, aeroplanes and car doors. Opening with a reworked version of heartbreaking ballad ‘Thinking About You’ and an instant confrontation with the full force of Ocean’s vocal range, the whole record echoes with extra terrestrial Odd Future synths and clumsy piano chords.
The ethereal landscape threatens hypnotism until a test beep or plane taking off jolts you back around. Stand out tracks include ‘Bad Religion’ – a modern day confession relayed to a taxi driver in place of a pastor and ‘Pink Matter’ featuring Andre 3000 and, I’m certain, the spirit of Marvin Gaye.
Hayley Louise Brown
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