Frank Ocean has given us precious little new music in the last couple of years, but he came through in the middle of the night tonight to give us something beautiful. On his Tumblr, Ocean has posted a spare, lovely cover of soul legends the Isley Brothers’ lighter-than-air 1976 ballad “At Your Best (You Are Love).” (Aaliyah also covered the song, and yesterday would’ve been her birthday if she’d lived, so that might have something to do with Ocean’s decision to post the song just now.) On Ocean’s version, he’s singing over a spare electric piano and nothing else. He’s emoting but still showing a crazy technical fluidity. Ocean’s strength has never been his pure vocal command, but he hits some notes here. And be warned: The way he delivers the “you’re a positive motivating force within my life” might break your whole shit down. Also, there’s a quick and quiet tease of what might be another new song at the very end, during the fade-out. Listen to Ocean’s version of the song below.
(via Frank Ocean’s Tumblr)
Maybe we’ll be getting that Channel Orange follow-up sometime soon? Or maybe this is just a brief burst of beauty for its own sake.