Frank Ocean’s major label debut proves to be a masterpiece.
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Record Label: Def Jam
The most universally celebrated artist out of the Odd Future collective, Frank Ocean has managed to impress even with the monumental expectations leading into his major label debut. Taking pages from Stevie Wonder’s notebook, Channel Orange is packed with glorious hooks, intricate and smart lyrics, and as an album it manages to be slick without being over-produced. There’s a true bittersweet element to the album, which Ocean tempers perfectly in the only way he can, as evidenced on “Sweet Life,” “Super Rich Kids,” and more obviously on the James Fountleroy cover “Fertilizer” interlude.
Frank Ocean’s passion is clear from his music, and his immensely descriptive lyrics and imagery are impressive enough that they would feel equally at home in an award-winning novel– a rarity, especially in today’s R&B world. That’s Frank Ocean in a nutshell, however, a rare bird standing tall, brimming with creativity and an understanding of music that extends far beyond his years. Come December, Channel Orange will undoubtedly still stand as one of the best albums you will hear in 2012.