I’ve been listening to Frank Ocean for around five years now and I can still never get enough of his music. Born on 28th October 1987, 33-year-old Frank Ocean is a composer/singer/visual artist who started off his career as a songwriter for many famous artists like Beyonce, John Legend and even Justin Bieber. Soon after, Frank’s own career took off which caught public attention swiftly. With albums like Nostalgia, Ultra, Channel Orange and Blond, Frank experiments with R&B and hip hop and incorporates unconventional styles in his music and lyricism. From sound production to vocals, Frank doesn’t miss a beat and here are a few songs that portray his artistic brilliance.
- Nights (Blond)
“Nights” can be described as a song split into two segments with a transition period. The song incorporates multiple genres of music and moods. It starts with a pleasant guitar riff being played over Frank’s singing and suddenly transforms into a psychedelic instrumental after which the song reaches an intermission – everything gets all messy and fast-paced – and then transitions into a very lowkey hip hop vibe. This is definitely one of Frank’s best works with incredible incorporation of instruments, lyricism and genres.
- Thinkin’ Bout You (Channel Orange)
As the title suggests, this slow beat R&B song is about someone Frank is thinking about and missing. This hit from the Channel Orange song is also one of the reasons for Frank’s huge success as it was a fan favourite. This classic Frank Ocean song will give you an idea of how wide his vocal range can be.
- Pink + White (Blond)
If I could describe this song in one word it would be ‘dreamy’. With a beautiful piano intro and soothing vocals, ‘Pink + White’ is one of Frank’s rare happy songs and is bound to put you in a good mood.
- Chanel (Single)
“Chanel” is as much a story as it is a song. In this art piece, Frank opens up about the duality between masculinity and femininity in himself. With the lyrics “I see both sides like Chanel”, Frank is making a statement regarding his sexuality. This duality isn’t only limited to his sexuality but also to his ethnicity, social status and his ongoing battle with himself. In this hip hop/ rap song Frank embraces the art of storytelling through his music.
- White Ferrari (Blond)
“White Ferrari” is a string that’s sure to hit hard. Focusing more on Frank’s vocals, I’d classify “White Ferrari” as one of Frank’s saddest songs (Some others being “Self Control”, “Siegfried”, “Dear April”). With some hard-hitting lyrics, “White Ferrari” is bound to make an addition to your sad playlist.
- Strawberry Swing (Nostalgia, Ultra) (Cover)
While artists covering artists can go horribly wrong, Frank beautifully captures Coldplay’s “Strawberry Swing”. This is one of my personal favorites as it shows a very different side of Frank’s music, one you don’t get to see much in his new albums.
In all honesty, picking six songs out of 30+ songs is doing injustice to Frank Ocean because all his songs have a certain beauty to them. If you do end up liking any of the songs mentioned above, be sure to check out his singles and albums. You won’t be disappointed!