COME ON, FRANK. HURRY IT UP.
I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t give a crap when Frank Ocean dropped his first album in 2012. I was aware people were loosing their fucking minds over it, but I was too busy dancing on my own to Robyn’s “Body Talk” to give a shit about Frank.
Editor’s note: I thought Robyn was a brand-new underground artist who was too good for radio and instead found herself a comfortable home in a record crate at Urban Outfitters. In other news, I thought was hot shit in 2012.
And since his music got hardly any radio play, I never gave Frank the time of day.
Over the last couple years as my musical palette matured, I tested channel ORANGE a few times, and sure, it was pretty good, but I still wasn’t totally sold. I thought it was chaotic and overtly narrative. And as a white, gay man without a history of drug abuse or strip club experience, I found the whole thing a little enigmatic.
Now, don’t ask me what made me think about Frank again today as I sit in this Tampa coffee shop and watch the first April showers flood the entire city, because the truth is, I have no clue. Maybe it’s my recent proclivity for experimental R&B and asymmetrical electro rhythms, or maybe it’s because Kennedy Boulevard looks like a freaking ocean at the moment, but by some divine intervention, I was moved to listen to channel ORANGE once again.
AND THIS ALBUM BLEW MY FUCKING MIND.
No, seriously. It was a cocktease for my brain. This cantaloupe-looking piece of musical juicy fruit will interrupt whatever you’re doing and force you to have sex.
The entire album sounds like a live set at an amber-lit underground funk bar—like Stevie Wonder, Pharrell and J-Roc met at the studio and someone hacked the system and leaked the tracks on Reddit.
Why the hell have I not listened to this every day since 2012?
If you’re like the old me and haven’t heard the album, stop everything you’re doing, and listen to “Pilot Jones,” “Lost,” “Monks,” and the vocalless “White” featuring John Mayer on guitar. They’re the best.
Now, there are rumors circulating that Mr. Ocean is about to drop an album on us any day now, and Lord Jesus, let’s hope those rumors are true and not just rumors from the same people who claim Betty White is dead every other day.
Because if they are true, I’m going to drown myself.