OK, I’m going to keep it all the way real for a second. I’m not going to do a track-by-track review of Frank Ocean‘s channel ORANGE for 2 reasons: I’m too busy listening to it and I’m just plain lazy. With that being said, I still feel compelled in my spirit to write something about the album. Why? Because it’s that damn good. So if you’re a homophobe or have shitty taste in music, this is the time to leave. Grown folks are talking now. Let’s get down with the getdown.
Now, where do I start? How about with the production. The vast majority of the album was produced by Malay, a dude I’ve been a fan of for quite some time. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, go back and listen to “Green Light” by John Legend or “Sumthin’s Gotta Give” by Big Boi. Anybody who knows me knows I have an affinity for live music, so a dude who produces and plays multiple instruments is clearly winning in my book. Not to mention, Pharrell Williams comes through in the clutch on “Sweet Life” and John Mayer‘s understated but dope guitar playing hits us on “Pyramids” and “White.” I’ve also read that guitarist Charlie Hunter and singer Lalah Hathaway were involved with the album. I’ve yet to figure out where they left their mark, but I’ve been a fan of Hunter since D’Angelo‘s Voodoo, and simply put, I would do Lalah.
What’s next? The lyrics. I’ve always believed Ocean’s greatest talent is taking regular human interaction and making it sound otherworldly. For example, on the aforementioned “Pyramids,” instead of simply describing how we don’t treat Black women with the same amount of reverence, he chronicles the lives of 2 Cleopatra‘s: the first being the legendary pharoah of Egypt and the second being a prostitute. While there’s nothing new under the Sun, you can still make it your own. Also, while much has been said about his sexuality since his revealing letter, the fact of the matter is, if you’ve ever been in love, you can still relate to songs like “Bad Religion.” The feeling is still real, regardless of who it’s directed toward.
All in all, this is a dope ass album. If you don’t have it, go buy it right now. That’s right, I said buy. This is the first album I’ve purchased in who knows how long, but I’m glad I did. I’ve never led you astray, so go my children. Be one with the music, bon bons and all that good stuff (© Method Man). Good day.