GENRE | PBR&B
VERDICT | ROMANTIC SWAG
LABEL | DEF JAM
RELEASE | 7.17.12
In the days following the publication of his classy and beautifully written coming-out letter to the world, singer-songwriter Frank Ocean has experienced both his live television debut and the release of his first proper commercial LP channel ORANGE.
The letter addressed Ocean’s first experience with love, which happened to be with another man, and the crooner’s coinciding struggle with emotion and sexuality. Interestingly enough, Ocean chose to perform his raw and honest musical account of the experience on Jimmy Fallon with the haunting, deep cut, “Bad Religion.” For the majority of its duration, channel ORANGE finds Frank Ocean lost in his thoughts, often escaping his own reality as a globe-trotter (“Sierra Leone”), drug addict (“Crack Rock”), or privileged young adult (“Super Rich Kids”).
While the album is at its strongest in self-examination, his exploration of themes and musical style is expertly calculated, often drifting between hip-hop and R&B.
If his breezily confident debut has proved anything, it’s that you can’t put his music—or his orientation—in a box.