A lot has been said and written about Frank Ocean’s latest in the last months. The hype was real after the now classic Channel Orange, and fans worldwide had been anticipating a new album since 2014. But it stayed quiet for a long time. Release dates were announced and then postponed, collaboraters announced , titles for the new album were being thrown around, but new music failed to surface. Until August, when suddenly there was a videostream with 40 minutes of music, and the day after, a whole album. The question now, was it worth all the fuzz?
This one is pretty different from Channel Orange. It’s more subdued, ebbs along gently, and there are no obvious singles. But it’s probably still the best thing Ocean has done. For me, it transports me to my late teens, where summers were filled in the sun, drinking with my friends, not having a care in the world. When the first notes of Nikes gently flow through your speakers, it was like I was there again. Carefree, relaxed, letting it all in.
The music itself is very eclectic. Not a real surprise when you look at all the people who contributed. James Blake, Andre 3000, Tyler,The Creator, The Beatles… When your influences are this widespread, it’s no surprise that every track has a distinct feel and mood to it. Nikes sounds like the moment you’re at a party and it hits you : you should have gone home 30 minutes ago. Self Control is like looking at the picture of your ex you screwed up with. White Ferrari is the lonely nights in your room. Pretty much the feelings I had in my late teens, with the highs, the lows, and everything in between.
One thing all the tracks have in common : the gorgeous production, and that voice. It doesn’t really matter how he sings, but Ocean has the ability to put you in the right mood seemingly effortless. If R&B has become a genre with 1-hit wonders in the last years, Frank Ocean is surely its savior.
My favourite track is Nikes. Now, to be fair, I was really in doubt about this one, but it’s the video for this song that won it for me. There’s no story, no cohesion, but the atmosphere, the images, the colors are so in sync with the song, that it won by a small margin. Sadly, the clip has been taken off youtube, but you can watch it on his site linked below . The song’s still pretty great though. But I guarantee you, everyone will have his/her personal favourite.
And thus comes an end to “where is Frank Ocean’s new album?”. It was a long wait, but the results are spectacular. But next time Frank, don’t keep us waiting this long, deal?