Is Frank Ocean the Savior of Modern RnB?

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Abr 18 2011, 23h13

A friend sent me a clip of Frank Ocean's from his lauded Nostalgia/ultra mix tape. It's an ode to gettin down au natural over the music to MGMT's Electric Feel. Since I loved the original, I had a time swallowing this R n B crooner with a Prince like delivery talking about how he's been "meaning to fuck you in the garden"

I almost gave up on it, but then read some articles on the internet on how Mr. Ocean and this artist from Toronto, The Weeknd , were the NEW thing in RnB. SO I decided to give his mixtape nostalgia/ultra a chance, and im very glad i did

While its not a neo soul revival in sound, its definitely a throwback to 70s soul when it comes to raw, honest, heartfelt singer-songwriter material. Something that is desperately needed in a Drake/Chris Brown-ified RnB landscaped

It's Kanye West without the insecurity, bravado and wall of sound.. just straight from the heart.

You wont be hearing any sci-fi , bleeding edge music production: it clearly takes a backseat to story, voice and pain. Some songs are lighter than others, but if you are looking for bump n grind "club bangaz" you're in the wrong place. But what you do get is a genre hopping ride through modern rock, rNb, rap, psychedelia, and even IDM.

The opening starts with a heartaching cover of Coldplay's Strawberry Swing, which just might eclipse the original.

Novacane is nothing inspiring music wise, but the lyrics itself are phenomenal, about the oh to common youth sport of casual sex as a drug to pacify problems, when its only a short term solution that soon runs out.

We All Try is an ode to hope, in saying we all have to believe in something. This could be cliche Celine Dion tripe, but not in Frank Ocean's hands. Do i even detect same sex marriage support in the line in "i believe that marriage isn't between man and woman, but between love and love" ?

Songs for Women Frank cuts the bullshit and simply says he sings to impress girls.
Hello, my name is fred roister. I heard

Love Crimes takes a violent metaphor for a kinky secret relationship, with a clever interpolation of Nicole Kidman's dialogue from To Die For when she starts to go ape shit at the end, talking about all the things women do for men, that men will never do for women "men can stick it in where ever they can, but for women, its all about security, and commitment, and whatever the fuck it is. But you're not the jealous type are you? AND WHY HAVENT YOU BEEN JEALOUS OF ME?"

There Will Be Tears samples Mr Hudson's Bon Iver esque AutoTune lament, and transforms it into an essay of growing up without a father. I enjoy the song, but its a bit too close to Kanye's Lost In The World.

Swim Good is one of the albums stunners, with smart lyrics, melodies, and loping hip hop beats, as the protagonist tries to swim/run away from the pain after losing his love.

Dust tells the story of the library inside Mr. Ocean's head…some books he's not proud of, but the girl he loves, is always welcome.. till she sets the whole thing a blaze.

The best track on here is American Wedding. Its challenging, because its sung over The Eagles Hotel California, one of the most overplayed rock songs of all time. If you can stomach and get past that, you have an amazing tragic story of teenage love and marriage that dissolves into hell.

On its own, Nature Feels, Ocean's reworking of MGMTs Electric Feel may seem novel, withs its Prince like carnality, but when you compare it to the rest of Nostalgia/ultra, its one of the weaker links.

I'll probably offend the RNB buying public of America by saying this, but I fear this album may be too good and too deep for the average listener.
When the Pitchfork.com types start loving you, you run the risk of turning into an Alterna-Black artist that white college kids are in love with but blacks never quite catch on to. You know what im talking about..Kele, Kenna, Janelle Monae Lauryn Hill, Terence Trent D'Arby, Tracy Chapman,De La Soul Is Dead era De La Soul.

Let's hope this curse skips Frank Ocean, because he deserves every accolade.

Comentários

  • userbraindamage

    Nice.

    Abr 19 2011, 10h19
  • green_narcotics

    It would be a complete falsehood to say blacks never caught on to Lauryn Hill, unless you mean post-"Miseducation" Lauryn. By saying blacks never catch on to these acts, I assume that you mean on a mainstream level, right? But I agree with everything else you've said. Frank Ocean is such a breath of fresh air from mainstream r&b, and he deserves success.

    Abr 30 2011, 22h31
  • Blvd_Nights

    Frank Ocean is such a breath of fresh air from mainstream r&b, and he deserves success. [2]

    Mai 1 2011, 17h28
  • michaelbeville

    nice post fella

    Mai 11 2011, 13h38
  • gothess

    i second this post. :)

    Mai 13 2011, 16h12
  • ZaccF

    True!!!

    Out 23 2011, 14h37
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    Jan 12 2012, 1h12
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