An inspiration: Frank Ocean album review – Channel Orange.

It was recently announced to the public by Frank Ocean himself, that he was bi-sexual. He released a heart touching piece of text that explained his journey of falling for a male as his first love. Frank chose to release something so personal that appeared to almost be a diary entry and I was holding back the tears as soon as I began reading his ‘explanation’. If you do listen to his Hip-Hop/R’n’B music from previous albums, you’ll be aware of Frank’s laid back vibe he produces with his tracks. Also, none of his tracks are heavily female or male focused so there are no hints of sexuality, which I find enables the music to be versatile and universal – leaving it open to interpretation.

Frank’s coming out shouldn’t effect his fan base hugely as he is very sensitive and subtle with his own sexuality. If someone like Trey Songz ‘came out’, he would probably lose majority of his fan base as most of them are women who idolise a relationship with him. He presents him self as such a ‘sex object’ to women, that it would be a complete shock to the system. Whereas Frank, has always been quite cryptic with his lyrics and motives. For example in the Odd Future song ‘Oldie’ Frank’s heard saying ”I’m high and i’m bi, wait I mean I’m straight”.

His newly released album ‘Channel Orange’ reinforces this image of a laid back, confident musician who just wants to create music that will hypnotise fans into a relaxed trance.

After the intro, the album opens with well known track – ‘Thinkin Bout You’. The mellow, slow paced song introduces the feel for the entire album. The genre is maintained through the whole play-list and all of the songs use a constant sound. Frank is a member of the popular and controversial group – OFWGKTA ( Odd Future), and it’s clear that he hasn’t felt the need to advertise this in the current album. Members of the music group were quick to support Frank on his sexuality and Tyler the Creator took to twitter to congratulate his ‘brother’. Being bi-sexual/homosexual in the Hip-Hop industry is highly controversial and it would be a struggle to highlight a mainstream artist in the industry who is that open with their own sexuality.

Track 15, ‘Pink Matter’ featuring Andre 3000, is simply beautiful. The background funk makes you bop your head but the touching words drag you into a world of bliss. Track 10,’ Pyramids’ adds a slightly more upbeat sound but Frank’s way with words still leave you feeling too chilled to move.

All I can suggest is to listen to this highly anticipated album. Buy it, play it, repeat it. You’ll thank me later.

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