With Channel ORANGE, Ocean revived my love for R&B. He set a new standard for other rising artists, he inspired others to be fearless, break boundaries and give the finger to the old cishet formula within songwriting.
By Ruby Mora
Those who listen religiously to the current iterations of R&B, funk, and neo soul probably think of Channel ORANGE (CO) when someone mentions singer/songwriter Frank Ocean. Mr. Ocean, the lyrically and sonically transcendent artist behind the masterpiece of an album, solidified his place in the music industry with the release of this album, and after five years it stands strong as one of most groundbreaking albums of modern R&B.
When CO dropped, critics went batshit over it, and for good reason. Reviewers from all ends of the music industry were praising the album’s unique tracks, vivid sounds and raw lyrics. Melissa Locker from Time Magazine summed up the effect of the album pretty well, stating that it is “a mature album, especially from one so young. The fact that no two songs sound alike show a virtuoso on the rise. The lyrics reveal a self-awareness that comes with maturity, but also show a young man in flux.”
Prior to CO, Ocean had two EPs under his belt, along with songwriting credits with artists including Brandy, John Legend, and Alicia Keys. CO has grown to become a classic and important part of modern R&B music which granted Ocean a well-deserved position within the music industry. Channel ORANGE told such vivid and honest stories in a way that most artists at the time wouldn’t have thought of doing–that, or they were too afraid to.
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