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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.
Here we see a sonic detour on the LP. This track appears to have been recorded on a iPhone with its lo-fi quality, which endows it with an intimate and endearing quality allowing us not only a chance to see Ocean at his most raw, but perhaps also his song writing process. The track finishes with a limited amount of dialogue in which a male voice can be heard confessing how someone “broke his heart”, showing a rare piece of candour - a theme fitting the alternate name of the album Boy Don’t Cry.
Though the fidelity returns to its norm on this track, the production is strange enough to keep your eyebrow raised from the previous track. Ocean follows a catchy melody line but the instrumental appears to oscillate between moods underneath. Taking head from classical music, Ocean has split this track into three parts. Midway through, sharp synths tear their way into the song whilst Ocean’s vocal becomes inebriated and drowsy. We then hear a strange guitar counterpoint breakdown, followed by a beat drenched in melancholia – a peculiar yet very much intriguing song.
A return of sorts to the song Solo with its subject matter although this track is captained by the elusive Andre 3000 of Outkast. He covers similar themes that the album has already shows such as materialism over passion, depression, police brutality and apathy. The track sees Andre 3000 rapping over some heavy minor piano chords, which eventually progress into a dirty sub-bass and then return towards the end of the track.
This is perhaps the most adventurous and applaud-worthy track on the album. For someone of Frank Ocean’s popularity to have the audacity to produce a track that opens with a head-clanging amalgam of dissonance and noise as a means of artistic virtue should not go unnoticed. The track doesn’t followed such a tumultuous path, however; it cleverly opens up into an eerie reverbed refrain (“I’m inside”). This same vocal has a gospel-like element to it, making the Karriem Riggins-esque percussion kick-in sound brilliant. This is then followed by a choir of children’s voices that fade the song out.
Here we find ourselves encased in another dialogue track. This time it’s the French DJ-cum-produced SebastiAn whom has produced songs such as Arabest. His monologue tells of a story of when his girlfriend of three years finished their relationship due to the sole fact that he would not accept her on Facebook on the grounds that virtual reality held no value to that of reality. The story seems somewhat humorous at first, given the fatuity of the girlfriend, but actually comes across as poignant upon the realisation that people have blurred the boundary between virtual and actual reality (“I’m in front of you, I’m here everyday in your house, but it’s just jealousy, pure jealousy for nothing, a virtual thing”)
Close To You
This a cover of Stevie Wonder’s Talkbox medley cover of the Carpernter’s Close To You.
Image Credits: rollingstone.com