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About Me:18-year-old sixth form student, studying English Literature, History and Government and Politics. My articles will broadly cover topics from the current affairs of politics to reviews of books and albums, as well as adding my own creative pieces, whether it be short fiction or general opinion.
Be still, your beating heart. She does not lambast her way onto the track and steal the show. Instead she makes a graceful appearance into the background, gently harmonising with Ocean, and lays the song to rest. The birds chirping at the end appear apt.
Here we have a short interlude with what appears to be a saved voicemail of Ocean’s mother giving him her last amount of maternal advice. Like all parents she wishes him to stear well clear of drugs and alcohol, so much so that her persistence becomes almost humorous (“unless you’re taking it under a doctor’s control, then it’s regulated”). Her long list of do-nots may come across as prohibiting and intrusive but it is mitigated somewhat by the poignancy of her obvious care for Ocean to maintain his integrity and moral foundations. This is emphasised by the beautiful electric piano ostinato that plays as the voicemail is playing, the same instrumental that plays behind every part of dialogue throughout the album.
In counterpoint, or perhaps rebellion, to the previous track Frank literally opens with allusion to his drug taking. The song has a gospel feel to it with some soulful organ chord progressions with Ocean showcasing his balladry in the lyrics “in Hell in Hell, there’s Heaven”. As the song progresses there are faint snippets of female background vocals drenched in reverb. Overall a really pleasant and mellow song.
If you’re like me and love Kendrick Lamar for his artistic approach to not only his lyrics but accompanying music and delivery then, also like me, you’ll be left somewhat dejected after listening to Skyline To. Throughout the entirety of this peculiar track I was sat up anxiously waiting for the song to progress into a Lamar verse. Alas, it never came. Where was he? I listened again. A turn out his ‘feature’ is just him accentuating the words “smoke” and “haze”. The song itself isn’t so bad, it follows the same spacey vibe as its predecessor, but, like Lamar’s contribution, doesn’t feel needed on the album.
This song, however, is a beautiful standout track on the album. This is Frank Ocean’s ultimate slow-burner. His croon is perhaps its most passionate here over a raw John Mayer-esque electric guitar. The song features Yung Lean during the chorus, with his voice firstly being pitched upwards throughout the first chorus. This could be to portray the innocence and futility of the request to “keep a place for [him]” whilst the subject of the song goes off with other lovers. The poignancy of this request hits even harder in the second chorus when Lean’s natural voice sits alongside that which is pitched up. Symptomatic of the album, as the song pushes towards its ends, its grows layers (a strings sections accompanying an aching muffled voice). These strings then emboldened the staccato vocals tinted with flanger. All these parts then blissfully fade, closing what is thus far the most beautiful track.
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