By now, I hope someone in your social media feed of choice has freaked out about how incredible Frank Ocean’s album Channel Orange is. If not, please, allow me.
While most Americans were celebrating our nation’s independence by grilling food, drinking beer and igniting small explosives, Frank Ocean was busy celebrating his own kind of independence. Praise for his July 3 coming-out Tumblr post has been rolling in ever since, from music critics, from Russell Simmons, from Ebony… nearly every corner of the Internet. The courage he’s shown in the face of homophobia has created that rare good kind of Internet shitstorm. The kind in which people are falling over one another to join an entirely righteous consensus. The kind that warms hearts, raises goosebumps, and makes you feel like the world is headed in the right direction.
The most amazing part? This is just one of two consensus frenzies (confrenzuses?) Frank Ocean is currently commanding, because his album Channel Orange is so bonkers-amazing that no one knows what to do with themselves. On July 10, Ocean was kind enough to post a full stream of the album, and my Twitter feed immediately flooded with rave reviews. I finally dove in yesterday (crazy how 24 hours can seem like a lifetime when everyone is excited about something), when good friend of the blog Trang sent me a link. She and I happened to start listening at the same time, unintentionally forming the world’s
smallest most exclusive listening party. As we traded impressions, I became more and more transfixed by the stylistic depth and changing faces of Channel Orange. Ocean’s voice is as smooth as it could possibly be, sharing lyrics that showcase expressiveness and wit in equal measure. By the end, I was completely floored, ready to start it all over again.
If you haven’t checked it out yet, I encourage you to do so now. It’s not just a spectacular and timeless-feeling album. When placed in the context of Ocean’s other confrenzus, Channel Orange is also a piece of musical history, one that’s ridiculously enjoyable and momentous simultaneously. Click here to stream the album for free, here to buy on iTunes, and check below to preview and download its epic track “Pyramids.”