Quick Review: Frank Ocean - Channel Orange [Album]

Frank Ocean’s channel ORANGE just hit iTunes. Does his official debut live up to the hype? Read below for my initial thoughts as I listen to the album for the first time. Remember, this isn’t Rolling Stone…I’m just a boy with an opinion! 

Start – Intro. Blah. LOVE the PS2 sound! *pours glass of wine*
Thinking Bout You – Still beautiful. Still perfect.
Fertilizer – First interlude type thing. It’s cute.
Sierra Leone – The vocal arrangement on this record is insane. Favorite line? “Your daughter’s reaching for your nipple because it’s time to eat”
Not Just Money – Interlude. Womp.
Sweet Life – Out of all the tracks, I think this would make a really nice second single. Pharrell’s production is top-notch as always.
Super Rich Kids (Ft. Earl Sweatshirt) – You’ll probably hate me for this, but the opening rap reminds me of the Jamaican frog from the Parappa The Rapper game on PS1. Now that that’s out of the way, I really enjoy this song. It’s very reminiscent of Stevie Wonder.
Pilot Jones – This is the first song that I immediately wanted to put on repeat. I honestly couldn’t tell you why. Ask me in a week.
Crack Rock –  Yep. Love it.
Pyramids –  I feel like this song should have followed “Pilot Jones” in sequence because they have similar production, but hey…it’s not my album. I love the first half, but I adore the second half. I’m glad it’s the only super long song on the album.
Lost:  Quirky. The most ‘fun’ record on the album…I think. Lyrically, it’s not fun…but the bright & upbeat production makes it fun.
White (Ft. John Mayer) –  I expected lyrics…but it doesn’t really need lyrics. It still makes me want to [redacted]
Monk – Come on for this bassline!
Bad Religion – This is the song that started the controversy. I don’t hate it, but I definitely don’t love it.
Pink Matter (Ft. André 3000) –  Frank’s vocals sound amazing. André is such a perfect fit  for this record…it makes no sense.
Forrest Gump –  Another honest record, but I don’t think I’ll be playing this one very often.
End –  *finishes glass of wine*

Overall: It’s a very solid  & cohesive debut. It’s retro, it’s funky, it’s an R&B/Hip-Hop album that doesn’t really feel like it. If anything, I’d classify it as a contemporary soul album…which is perfectly fine. Frank masterfully blends every possible element of ‘urban’ music and infuses it all with incredibly beautiful (and sometimes surprising) lyrics. You can hear the influences of Stevie Wonder in almost every record, but in a really natural and organic way. It doesn’t in the least bit feel contrived.

Do yourself a favor. Purchase the album on iTunes!

Oh, and I’m still waiting for the full version of “Acura Integurl” to appear in HQ somewhere.



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