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Tuesday, 02 October 2012 09:58

Charting the Music: Frank Ocean, 'channel ORANGE'

Charting the Music: Frank Ocean, 'channel ORANGE' facebook.com/thefrankocean
Written by Travis Dettmann
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The smooth, seductive voice of Frank Ocean is enough to calm even the most active seas. Prepare to set sail on "channel ORANGE."

Love, addiction and wealth are themes for Ocean's debut album "channel ORANGE." This 24-year-old Odd Future affiliate entices listeners with his musical and lyrical fluidity.

88.1 KDHX Chart Position: #1 Hip-Hop for the week of September 25, 2012.

Record label, release date and producer: "channel ORANGE" was released digitally July 10, 2012 (physically a week later) by Def Jam Recordings and produced by Frank Ocean, Pharrell, Malay and Om'mas Keith.

Can be heard on: Rocket 88 with Darren Snow and Rawthentic with DJ Needles.

RIYL: Drake, Kid Cudi and Tyler, the Creator.

Hometown: Long Beach, Calif.

Standout Tracks: If you're enjoying "Thinkin' Bout You" with your significant other, a bottle of fine red wine, gentle candle light and claw-foot tub bubble baths are musts. Put this track on repeat and you'll turn into a prune. In contrast, "Crack Rock" will have you selling all of your personal belongings to indulge your addiction.

About the artist: In 2005, Frank Ocean left New Orleans due to Hurricane Katrina and relocated to Los Angeles. In 2009, Ocean teamed up with Odd Future, short for Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, and later that year, signed with Def Jam Recordings.

About the guests: Odd Future companion, Earl Sweatshirt, collaborates with Ocean on "Super Rich Kids." This 18-year-old Los Angeles rapper brings a slurred lyrical flow, which ends abruptly with a simple, "Yep." Guitar virtuoso John Mayer provides licks for an instrumental track entitled "White." OutKast co-founder, Andre 3000, contrasts Ocean's smooth, soulful verses with rapid rhymes about longing for a lost love.

Did you know? Earlier in Frank's career, he served as a songwriter for Justin Bieber, Brandy and John Legend.

Play it while: Romancing a woman who is just too far out of your league.

What the critics say: "Amid the gentleness of Frank Ocean's major-label debut, 'channel ORANGE,' there are moments of intensity and grim wisdom that could make a writer reach for a cliché like 'Nothing can prepare you for…' But the past two years in R&B have been ample preparation for Ocean's revision of the form. Male R&B is now less about dancing and more about emotional clarity—a trend that owes more to Ocean than to anyone. If R&B was once the main mode of dissembling attractively and seducing openly, it is now America's confessional booth." – Sasha Frere-Jones, The New Yorker.

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