Listen Up: Frank Ocean, Channel Orange

 

Frank Ocean made history earlier this month as the first R&B singer to come out when he wrote a personal, heartfelt post on his Tumblr and revealed that his first love was a man. No small feat for a singer who has been the lead of Odd Future, a hip-hop group that has been criticized as misogynist and homophobic.

Ocean’s decision to reveal his sexuality and the buzz it’s created around the release of his solo debut doesn’t detract from the beautiful, heartbreaking music he makes on Channel Orange, which hits stores today. Simply stated, Frank Ocean lives up to the hype. His understated sound pushes the boundaries of pop and R&B and quietly announces itself. Pretty Much Amazing had this to say in its review of Channel Orange:

Ocean is an observer, especially of woe, and the woe is often his. There’s nothing boastful or sexy about him or his music. He is the antidote to the kind of swagger and decadence albums such as, well, Watch the Throne celebrate. I suspect that’s why Channel Orange, Ocean’s first major-label album, has been met with such enthusiasm. How can you not root for this guy?

Still, not everyone is joyfully welcoming Frank Ocean. Target announced last week that it wouldn’t sell Channel Orange and claimed that it’s decision was in reaction to iTunes one-week exclusive. But who needs Target anyway for new music? We all know the retail giant has a questionable relationship to the LGBTQ community. Listen to Channel Orange on Spotify!

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