Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"Don't Put This Channel On Mute!" -Frank Ocean's Channel Orange Review

With all the controversy surrounding his sexuality Frank Ocean finally revels the thing that's most dear to him...his artwork! He may NEVER gets the public's full acceptance now that he's prematurely outed himself due to a "him" mentioned in a lyric. But he's probably want you to accept his music. Dude is TALENTED! Frank takes Musiq's vocal styling, Prince's detailed story telling, Stevie's vision, but his own makes them all HIS own! He'll never be remembered as the great vocalist of our time, but he's a BEAST with his lyrics! I wished...I'm sorry PRAY that more artist take is lead and create something outside of "stripper slow jams." The album sorta reminds me of when I first heard Andre' 3000's (do does a guest spot on the album) Love Below release, but not as funky. Channel plays out like a sonic journal/diary that you happen to come across and read. OR a laid back part two to his  Nostalgia, Ultra joint.  I.E. it'll be a while maybe on a road trip /airplane cross country listen that you get the canvas Ocean is painting. You may have to stand further back to see the bigger picture. Allow me to breakdown what you're expected to hear. [SPOILER ALERT]

1.START -no lyrically album intro of him starting up a Playstation3 as his iPhone message alert goes off in the background. I can't make out what game he was playing though...SORRY!

2.THINKING OF YOU -Now COME ON! I know you've heard this one before right? Any respectable Frank Ocean fans should have this on there iPod by now! Even Bieber covered this song! You DO know who THAT is right? DOPE song by the way, Youtube heavy!

3.FERTILIZER -10 seconds of channel surfing then a happy go 70's style song kicks in about using the sh** life hands you as well...fertilizer. Hey, it's only 40 sec. long, so bear it.

4.SIERRA LEONE -Young teenage parents dealing with a new born basically. Short as well.

5.SWEET LIFE -Again I know you've heard this one...like LAST week even! Awesome Stevie Wonder vibe on this one with the assistance of Pharrell on production. Not sure if this is a "second single" (Pyramids being the 1st), but I f**ks with it.

6.NOT JUST MONEY -Eavesdropped convo from a "mom" sounding female about finding happiness in things other than money. A perfect set up for...

7.SUPER RICH KIDS -The "white people with money problems" anthem.  I can see the Kardashians bumping this HARD!

8.PILOT JONES -The get high cut of the bunch (get it "pilot" ) more interlude than full song. It ends with a plane landing right into...

9.CRACK ROCK -Yep another druggie song, but a precautionary one! DOPE! No pun intended (well maybe) This is like a modern Sly & the Family Stone joint to me. It's the drum track probably, but I'm not mad at it at all.

10.PYRAMIDS -One of my favs off the album so far! Kinda sounds like a Watch The Throne leftover (which ISN'T a bad thing). It's LONG but great from start to finish. Been singing this one in my head since it came out (...like him LOL!) Part two of the song is dope how the flips how women went from queens living IN pyramids to strippers WORKING in a club called the Pyramid! GENIUS!

11.LOST -Ocean's attention to detail on this would outshine any of your favorite rapper out right now! Not a stand out track to me (maybe on a second or third listen) but again...his lyrics are it!

12.WHITE -Straight instrumental Ocean track, with John Mayer's guitar styling on top of it basically, Nothing to see...here move along. Though I did find it funny that he would put a guy who openly said quote "My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I've got a Benetton heart and a fuckin' David Duke cock. I'm going to start dating separately from my dick." unquote, on a song titled "WHITE" LOL. Ironic huh?

13.MONKS -A Frank Ocean version of a Janelle Monae' song I feel coming from this. Again not a banger banger but I'm not hating on it. I'd rather listen to...

14.BAD RELIGION -His "Purple Rain" of the album. Listen for the "I could never make HIM love me" line that started all the gay whispers.  It's really short, but it's there to serve the exact purpose that it did. BTW I wonder if the "If I'm on my knees, it's s bad religion" was a gayer line then the "him" reference. I'm just sayin'

15.PINK MATTER -DOPE quiet track with a DOPE verse from "Mr. 3 Stacks" himself! On here he questions his sexual choices "...pink used to be my favorite color, now its just grey matter" queer but awesome lyrical line.  I even dig the duet crooning that he and Dre' do towards the end...brilliant!

16.FORREST GUMP - the last to his bi-sexual clue dropping comes with his most blunt lyric of them all. "Boy you forever running through my mind" If that isn't an all out declaration then you my friend have a closeted mind. I dig the sound bites of "Run Forrest, run!" thrown in in the background...nice touch!

17.END -Just a car radio version of "VOODOO" (one of) my favorite Frank Ocean tracks. which i wish was longer (hmmmph).  Ending with a hazy conversation and a "it is what it is" break up.

So ummm yeah that's it folks. That pretty much sums things up over here. I think the album is his "emo" release like 'Ye had with 808 Heartbreak and now that "it's" off his chest, it's be back to biz as usual. He's already proven himself twice over with his short body of work that's out there in the world. But like every TRUE artist the music message matters first before the sale that HOPE to get. S**t the controversy may even help him sell MORE!

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