Frank Ocean - Channel Orange

Ever since Jimmy Fallon tweeted about a “big announcement” regarding Frank Ocean’s forthcoming Channel Orange earlier today — Ocean is scheduled to perform on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon in a little over an hour — we suspected that we might be hearing the music a little sooner than later. Even with those suspicions, it’s still a pretty huge surprise that the entirety of Channel Orange, one of the year’s most anticipated releases, hit the web a week early (via iTunes). Everyone seemed to love the new singles “Pyramids” and “Sweet Life,” so let’s talk about those, and the rest of the album, below as we listen together. It’s like Watch The Throne all over again! UPDATE: Channel Orange is streaming for free at Frank’s Tumblr.

Comments (121)
  1. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  2. Ocean coming out is going to end up being one of the best moves he’s ever done for his career. He went from an obsession to an icon in less than a week. Props to the guy.

    • It shouldn’t have to be that way, though. While it’s admirable that musicians such as him and Laura Jane Grace came out with their respected sexuality news in such a public way, it shouldn’t have to be the reason why they’re enjoying success. I think it’s kind of stupid how websites like Pitchfork and Stereogum ignored Against Me! for the past several years, but now that the the band is fronted by a transgender musician, they’re taking advantage of it. As the website Beats Per Minute tweeted yesterday, “Dear music press, please stop milking someone’s sexuality for pageviews. Thanks.”

      • Right on, _. Seeing everyone in the country bust a nut over Frank is starting to make me think conspiracy.

        Especially since Frank Ocean is R&B for people that have never listened to Bill Withers.

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      • I agree 100%.

      • these websites were obsessed with Frank Ocean long before the coming out letter

        • Truth! There’s a certain understated genius to his appeal, and Channel Orange really captures that.

          The intellectual in me says, “it smacks of Voodoo’s (as in D’Angelo’s) meditative lounge vibe and Maxwell’s honeycomb harmonies”….

          ….and the epic contra within me just thinks its awesomely ironic and cool that a recently out gay man still writes the best songs about vaginas. “Pink Matter” is…just so awesome. Andre 3000?

          Let me don my purple velvet spottieottiedopaliscious bell-bottoms and repeat that: Andre 3000.
          Coupled with the rich FO tenor? You’ve got to be kidding me. Regardless of his sexuality, I’d still want to hear that. But I probably know nothing about R&B since I’m too busy “blindly following” indie blogs and sweating in this itchy wool hat.

  3. On track I’ve been disappointed with so far is Crack Rock.

  4. >Naively thought you meant streaming like iTunes did with Jack White’s album

  5. It’s kinda cool how the whole internet is listening to this at the same time, makes it feel like more of an event than most releases. And it’s really good, so that helps

  6. This and Dirt Projectors. Tomorrow will be a good day.

  7. Currently on Sweet Life. It’s already so good. I feel like my heart is going to jump out of its chest.

  8. This is album of the year material.

  9. It’s #1 on iTunes right now, u guyz

  10. Goddamn I want to hear this so bad right now. Unfortunately I have no means to at the moment. Please listen to the shit out of it for me.

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  12. My favorite song is all of them.

  13. This is, uh, pretty good. It’s a good album with a lot of good songs on it.

  14. Hey broke/unwilling folks CHECK THE UPDATE

  15. Fallon performance just finished…
    All I can say is holy shit.

  16. On Pyramids and I have to say, this album is AMAZING. Pure awesome RnB and just great writing.

  17. Believe the hype!

  18. Everything I wanted it to be.

  19. Ocean just had his “Voodoo” moment: an album so unique and pure that it’ll take years to top. Hats off to him.

  20. That Fallon performance…wow.

  21. Awks because I was convinced Fiona Apple’s latest was Album of the Decade so far and it probably still is (at least personally) but it took way more listens to get into than this one so I’m sort of sitting here in shock that’s cool guys

  22. Pink Matter “Cotton candy Majin buu. Dim the lights and fall into you.” Enough said.

  23. Frank too good, Frank too good, Frank too good.

  24. I don’t know if I’m jumping on the “Album of the (motherfucking) Year” bandwagon, but I’m definitely digging what I’m hearing on this. Basically it enhanced all the best parts of Nostalgia Ultra.

  25. Thanks to the stream on his tumble im finally able to listen to it. Im at sweet life right now. Holy damn its awesome so far. I cant wait for Earl Sweatshirt to show up.

  26. oh. fuck. unnervingly good. lush and expanisve and intelligent and indulgent and EVERYTHING right about music. soul and smarts and sonic euphoria. believe the hype. HOLY SHIT.

  27. exactly what i’d make if i had his.. well, you know.. TALENT AND GENIUS… and resources

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  29. Well, I guess I’ll get a fork to eat my former words of scepticism now. Brilliant record and a performance that had me almost teary-eyed.

  30. So, it’s good? Hard to get a consensus out of you folks.

  31. ‘All right… all right… but apart from Fiona Apple, Frank Ocean, Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors and the Aqueducts … what have the Romans done for us?’ – Not me.

  32. So begins what I hope will be a legendary career.

  33. Good Stuff. I like it!

  34. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • If you think Frank has any sort of similarity to most current “cool kid” R&B then I honestly don’t think you listen to much R&B in general or at least you haven’t listened to this album yet. Lyrically at least, Frank Ocean is miles away from anything else in the genre right now.

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    • His coming out has no influence on the album. It’s a great album because it’s a great album not because it’s an album by a gay R&B artist.

    • Yeah. I like to add my two cents that can be disproved by 10 seconds of reading too.

      To call his decision to come out “meticulous” and insincere is cynical beyond belief, not to mention homophobic. LGBT members have the right to express their identity without anyone questioning their motives to be public about it.

      Sit down.

      • Wait, so because I think that Frank Ocean is taking advantage of the love and support of his fans, LGBT or otherwise, by dropping this heartfelt and brave and loving story before the debut of a new record makes me homophobic? I don’t give a fuck if he’s gay, and you shouldn’t either. In a perfect world, coming out of the closet shouldn’t even be a big deal.

        • I’m saying that it isn’t anyone’s place to question his motives.

          And the 10 seconds of reading you should have done would reveal to you that he shared that story to respond to rumors about his sexual orientation. It was supposed to be included in the liner notes on the album, but he released it before the album so the rumors wouldn’t run amok.

          We don’t live in a perfect world, so coming out of the closet is a big deal, because apparently it’s hard to do it without people like you calling it a publicity stunt. By being skeptical of someone’s motives to come out, you are in fact reinforcing the heteronormative culture we live in. It’s really just not your place to make the call you’re making, especially when you’re so obviously making it out of your ass.

          It’s perfectly fine to dislike his music, but do you understand how the nature of your argument isn’t about music at all?

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          • Ehhhh I’ll just return to my first point. Suggesting that his coming out is nothing more than a business scheme is just an incredibly cynical thing to suggest.

    • So booshacky, in your opinion, is this better or worse than Tom Gabel’s hormone replacement therapy trick?

  35. “super rich kids with nothin’ but loose ends” shit is fly

  36. Frank is really coming into his own as a songwriter. And hot damn Andre’s verse(s!) in Pink Matter!

  37. goddamn this album is fantastic. definitely one of the best i’ve heard this year (so far).

    2012 is very quickly turning into a great year for music.

  38. I never thought I’d see the day where I would love an album that involves the words “featuring john mayer.”

  39. I’m not sure if this comes across coherently but there is so much space within these songs…its like he’s floating in between the really astonishing beats on each track. It’s almost building deliberate steam as it flows along. Truly special music here. Fearless. Incredibly ground breaking yet ridiculously accessible. I knew Pyramids would be its apex….first half worked toward that song, then the rest just blew up from there…

  40. 10 complete listens later, still in love. satisfying all of my senses

  41. My knowledge in RnB music is pretty limited to shit I used to listen to as a teenager (and then some stuff on indie-music-related websites such as SG) but I’m blown away by this album. As everyone was concentrating on Tyler, then Earl, maybe the biggest talent in the OF crew is Frank. Such great and smart lyrics, but also well-arranged music giving the feeling all was conceived at the same time, with incredible sensibility. Also, the overall atmosphere is kind of mesmerizing.

  42. My favourite song’s ‘Lost’

  43. i literally wore out all the battery power on my ipod listening to sweet life on repeat.

  44. Anyone else feels like this is the album of the summer?

  45. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • 1) American Wedding is great not because he sings over Hotel California but because of the rich story he tells in the song of a rash, ill-advised wedding between the song’s narrator a young woman, a story filled with numerous poignant, human details (ie the term paper the woman is about to turn on hijab)
      2) Why are R&B/soul singers from the 70s the only R&B/soul singers who are allowed to be great?
      3) Have you listened to Channel Orange? I would guess by your comment (not even referencing anything on the album itself), you haven’t. It’s great, give it a shot.

    • Leon Ware wrote one of my favourite albums of all time, but I still like this. No need for them to be mutually exclusive.

  46. album is so spontaneous, that’s its best quality, like he was singing without a plan or just an idea of what the song should sound like..rare thing these days

  47. This is just really fucking good music. Genre, sexual preference, previous albums aside this is just a super stellar album. I honestly thought he was pretty good but over hyped after Nostalgia, Ultra. This album definitely has staying power every song is unique but works in its own way. Hate to join the supposed “bandwagon” but I have to say this is the best album of the year (so far).

  48. It’s not awful

  49. This is a FUCKING GOOD ALBUM

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