Acclaimed Albums – Channel Orange by Frank Ocean

List item: Listen to the 250 greatest albums
Progress: 107/250Title: Channel Orange
Artist: Frank Ocean
Year: 2012
Position: #135

A while ago I made a post about my favourite albums of 2015 where I ranked Wildheart by Miguel at number 19. I have listened to this a lot in the beginning of 2016 and now think it probably should have been higher after falling for it in a big way. During one of the listenings I figured that I would look up similar albums to move onto so I don’t just keep having ‘face the sun’ on repeat.

This is how I arrived at Channel Orange as my next album. I had previously dismissed it as being another rap album that I won’t understand. It didn’t help that Wikipedia described Frank Ocean as a rapper, which put me off. More fool me. It’s more Janelle Monae than Kenrick Lamar.

The moment that Channel Orange started off by sampling the loading music from the PS1 I began to warm to this album. By the time I reached ‘Pyramids’ in the middle, well I knew that I had prejudged this album poorly.

Yes, there are still moments of rap. However, they seemed to work within the contexts of the song and were not the exclusive way that Ocean used to deliver his lyrics. His rather… interesting lyrics that deal with topics as diverse as drugs, aliens and candy floss. It keeps you on your toes and warrant multiple listens just to try and get all you can out of it.

It’s when he veers more on the side of neo-soul and you get to hear the range that he has in his singing voice that Channel Orange soars. This is an album that, for me, is clearly better than anything that Kanye West has done.

Having listened at the beginning of 2016 my mission is to be more open minded about R&B in the coming year. Who knows, maybe one will make it into my top rankings like Janelle Monae did in 2010 (The ArchAndroid was #1) and 2013 (The Electric Lady was #5).

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