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Anyone else listening so far?
Just got to the track with Earl - GREAT chorus.
Still a very enjoyable listen though.
on Jimmy Fallon is sublime.
Watched it, now i'm avoiding the album until I can buy it.
It's on iTunes now.
a physical copy, i think its gonna be really well packaged.
I want to give it the benefit of the doubt on firs listen though. A couple of things that have irked me - completely pointless John Mayer interlude, completely pointless Andre 3K appearance re-hashing his Take Care cameo.
The one thing I will say, which is the issue I had with Nostalgia, Ultra (which may have been informed by the sheer length of it), is that it often feels a bit like Ocean is sort of 'freestyling' over tracks, but singing rather than rapping. Like, they don't sound that considered as 'songs'. That's maybe why Pyramids stands out so much.
Again, this is on first listen whilst at work. I think I might do a proper write up of this over the weekend.
but agree with 'plodding'. Nostalgia Ultra seemed to have a bit more zing about it.
it's not at all "plodding" in fact i'm surprised by just how tightly it all comes together
except for thinkin bout you (which i'm starting to think is, like, one of my favourite songs ever) i was never 100% sold on him but he just sounds special on this album.
Funny how things change when Pitchfork dickrides someone as hard as they're doing with Frank Ocean at the moment.
lol jk, although I do think it's amazing how much everyone seems to like him on here now.
Anyway, it was mainly jimi and me that weren't into Frank when Nostalgia ULtra came out, iirc it was pretty well received by everyone else. I still don't like it outside of two or three songs. Havent really loved anything he did until Thinking Of You and the back half of Pyramids, which to me are the two best songs on CO after a couple quick listens. I wasnt too struck by this new one overall but the standouts are really great. That Fallon performance was nice.
I was just pointing out a coincidence more than anything.
Anyways I'm still not sold on his work although he does seem like a very intelligent individual after watching a few of his interviews and whatnot.
I thought it sucked, still do but Novacain grew on me a little after hearing it in diffrent contexts. The back half of Pyromids did sound alright from what I heard too. So he might have gone down in quality from one good track a mixtape to half a good track on the album lol.
I'm not sure about plodding, but it's certainly slow-building. It feels to me like a very confident record; it takes its time and hits the peaks when it needs to. I think it works very well as a whole, and within that the likes of 'Pyramids' and 'Thinkin Bout You' work even better than they did as standalone tracks. As others seem to be agreeing, 'Bad Religion' is pretty stunning too.
This wont do him any harm with me. Seems like a much stronger collection of tracks than Nostalgia, Ultra, and destined to be a grower for those who stick with it. Pleasantly surprised tbh.
Who'd've thunk it? He's a marketing machine.
You really do need something to get you some PR just before you launch it.
but it's been clear he's going to be a big cheese for a while now.
It's probably just his latest rouse to get at women anyway ;-D
I liked it. It's exactly what I need from an album when walking and being on a train. Perfect for summer.
pyramids is fucking STUPID good though. jesus. and its nice to hear earl but the rest is not very memorable
I still think the first half or so is a little bit plodding, it's not bad or anything it just doesn't really hold my attention in the way that most of Nostalgia/Ultra does. Post-Pyramids (inclusive) is absolutely brilliant though.
come on hipsters, at least buy it
Agree that the second half is stronger than the first, though it isn't by much. First half still has 'Thinkin Bout You'- which has been one of my favourite songs for a year now, and the Pharrell-produced 'Sweet Life', which I've been getting into since it dropped. That song with EARL is gonna be huge too, I reckon.
Pyramids almost acts as a microcosm for the whole album. Starts off a little slow with some nice melodies, enough to keep you intrigued, starts to plod, before coming to life spectacularly in the second half.
Definite hit single material. Perfectly crafted Pop/R&B.
He murders that song. Good stuff.
I love this album.
Aren't you really saying that you like r&b by admitting that you love this album? Maybe you just don't know much about the genre or haven't really tried, idk? What are the ingredients drawing you in here that aren't on display for other r&b acts of the same vein? burning questions
but he LOVES hipster hype!
you've got me all figured out.
But R&B tends to be my least favourite genre, and for the exact reason you stated, I haven't listened to enough of the good stuff. I don't tend to seek out genres I don't have much interest in, much easier to just listen to what I'm used to. Boring I know, so this was really refreshing for me.
I was a bit of an Odd Future fan, so tend to listen to stuff released by its members, otherwise I wouldn't have bother with this. Also I really liked Nostalgia, Ultra.
I'm surprised he hasn't got more love on here. The Art Dealer Chic EPs are awesome.
Which is a surprise, looks like I'm about to go through an R&B phase...
DISREGARD EVERYTHING I SAID UP THERE I'M A WALKING CONTRADICTION
I am no big R&B fan, probably out of not having an entry point previously, not that I haven't liked some stuff I've heard just neglected it. This may spur me on to investigate.
What drove me away was just the very pop R&B that was hyper sex obsessed that I struggled to relate to. Have heard some lovely stuff too though, few Erikah Badu songs.
Bad Religion is the most relatable song ever for me however, which helps.
First truly exceptional thing I've heard since 2010. YES.
but it's pretty close.
Close but I think Pyramids nips it in sheers scale. I do bloody love Climax though. Shame the rest of that album is borderline unlistenable.
But it's mostly terrible.
It's alright I suppose. Its way too long and has too many Guetta club tracks of the bad variety.
I was willing to be proven wrong, but on one spin I found it pretty disappointing too.
Otherwise Pitchfork must have gone with the Zeitgeist and raised the score after his love letter. Heaven Forbid!
Not to 9.5 levels anyway. Then again, it took me a while to agree that Bon Iver was worth 9.4 but I definitely do agree now. More than I do with MBDTF anyway... not that I 'care' what Pitchfork think but they're a decent enough source.
but sadly when a popular site like Pitchfork gives a plus-9 score it has the opposite effect, i.e 'if it is so good, that should be apparent immediately'. Backlash happens all the time, but I think this reasoning will be behind a lot of it in this case.
that the Earl cameo is completely pointless? Ditto the Andre 3000 one. They add literally nothing to this record, and take away a bit of its purity.
and is equally as boring/pointless.
that's about where the two similarities end
also his verse on take care is shit, but i love his spot on pink matter
One man, singing.
Guest rap verses don't seem to belong on a singer-songwriter album.
Some kinda new phenomenon?
Dear Mr OF, Mr WG and Ms KTA
Please find enclosed the song Hazey Jane II by Nick Drake to remix and put some of your young hip rap stylings into.
is really great, casual oozy internal rhymes.
It felt good.
Nostalgia, ULTRA was SO much better.
It's got far more focus than Nostalgia/Ultra, better crafted songs. Stuff like Pyramids and Bad Religion go well beyond anything that Nostalgia/ Ultra achieved, for me. Why are you disappointed it?
But I find Pyramids a little plodding, and Bad Religion was a major disappointment given the hype that track's getting.
There's nothing of the quality of Novacane or Swim Good on here for me. In terms of songmanship, or production quality.
For me, 'Thinkin Bout You', 'Sweet Life' and 'Lost' are the three best crafted songs he's written. I liked Nostalgia/Ultra, still love 'Novacane' and 'Swim Good', but the newer tracks are more focused.
'Pyramids' is quite possibly track of the year for me. It's hard for any 10 minute song to keep you engaged, so I see where the 'plodding' criticism comes from, although I disagree. It seems to incorporate so many different melodies and tunes, and the production is superb. I like what someone up there^ said about his vocals sometimes meandering over tracks and losing their focus. It's what makes him unique, but when it goes too far it can make his songs a chore. I think 'Pyramids' manages to find the perfect balance between his 'freestyle' vocals, and perfect songsmanship.
it does manage to keep me entertained fairly well for a 10 minute tune. but at the same time I feel like it never reaches the high point that it's length promises.
that he's released this year. definitely.
frank ocean's album of the year
That Fertilizer is a cover of a song written by James Fauntleroy?
Frank's brief collision with chris brown over twitter started when chris brown compared him to 'a young james fauntleroy or (someone else)' and frank rightly took it as an insult (Fauntleroy ghostwrites for chris brown) and in return compared CB to 'a young Ike Turner or Sisqo'.(lol)
The 40 seconds of Fertilizer are obviously quite abstract and tongue in cheek, especially with the singalong and the laughter at the end.
Sneaky, Ocean, sneaky.
pure class and intricacy.
every day it sounds better
that run of pilot jones/crack rock/pyramids/lost is crazy good
> Frank Ocean
Minimalist is probably the better word.
way more on point than Nostalgia Ultra. Can't say I'm blow away but its alright like. Not so keen on the ones that sound a bit like bedroom rehersal NERD tracks (Sweet Life, Crack Rock, Lost, Monks) or the usual tasteful nu soul business and it kinda plods along in general (Super Rich Kids, Pink Matter) and his voice reminds me of Akon which I aint keen on but stuff like Thinking Bout You, Pilot Jones, back half of Pyramids, maybe Sierra Leone, Bad Religion even tho it reminds me of Coldplay, Akon covering Coldplay with the Roots on backing are a nice listen somehow. I'll go back to it no doubt.
I even managed to not realised that starfucker John Mayer was on there doing his really awful thang. I think that's how good it is. Andre 3000 seems like a completely token appearance, but it's not a bad token appearance.
If this is MOR, maybe MOR's finally learnt some tricks...
I'm not sure when he crossed the line from vital show-stealing guest appearances to just being a bit of a nuisance once every 6 months.
Time to get the old band back together, bro.
where the young guns call him up because they want their idol on record with them.
but then, y'know...it's an R&B album.
Not awful, but wouldn't make my top 50 records of the year so far.
Like you have listened to 50 albums released this year!
The Drums came out in 2011 btw.
hadn't really listened to him at all before but the hype drew me in, and I'm very glad. The production is SO good and it just sounds like one of those albums that will still be revealing new things 20 or 40 listens in.
Thinking About You, Pyramids, Lost and Bad Religion are my favourites so far but damn, it's consistent.
"great productions" is the musical equivelant of declaring a film "cinematically brilliant".
This is just mainstream R & B dressed up in new clothes. Listened to it & deleted it - I rejected this kind of stuff in the 70's.
How did I forget?
Call off the thread guys.
Frank Ocean's music is much more layered than that, much more evocative of a certain contemporary malaise; I can understand why someone who 'rejected this kind of stuff in the '70s' might find this unappealing on the surface level but theyre also missing a lot of the point.
Saying Frank Ocean is 'mainstream R&B' speaks of nothing more than the surface glean of some of his songs, and his ascending popularity; other than that, he's a different entity altogether.
It was a snide way of saying the word implies nothing about the music.
When he says 'wrote this stuff off in the 70s', what is does he mean? Contemporary R&B didn't even emerge until the 80s.
If he means he wrote off soul and motown artists such as Stevie and Marvin, then he's ruling out even more great music than he gives himself credit for.
some people will just always have shitty taste
but more like 7.5/10. Honestly, I haven't even got thru the whole thing yet. So, a very tentative reply.
And Andre 3000's bit is fucking great too.
oh and: 8.1
but the way bad religion goes into pink matter is flawless
I wasn't sold on it at first, but with further listens it's up there with my favourite parts on the album.
... my memory's no sharp
Butter knife, what a life, anyway,
I'm building y'all a clock. Stop,
What am I, Hemingway?
She had the kind of body that would probably intimidate
Any of them that were unsouthern- not me cousin.
If model's are made for modelling
then thick girls are made for cuddling...
Such a good verse!
I read yesterday that Big Boi was meant to be on 'Pink Matter' as well. He laid down the verse for it and everything, but Dre blocked it as he didn't want the OutKast reunion to occur on another album. Shame, but indicates that the OutKast 'reunion' will eventually happen.
it's like something from superfly
think this is probably my favourite album of the decade so far, each listen i notice something new
Thinkin Of You (the swooshy synths and synthetic snares work well, perfect use of falsetto too)
Pilot Jones (all about the vocals on this, channeling his inner Usher at the beginning)
Pyramids (nothing else on the album like it, easily the best song for me)
Lost (love the build up on the pre-chorus to the hook)
Bad Religion (simple song, context sets it over the top, organ sounds nice)
Forrest Gump (kinda corny but nice enough)
Monks (great bass)
Crack Rock (great organ tones, but his vocals never engage with the beat)
Super Rich Kids (repetitive goes nowhere, Earl verse should have been used on Crack Rock)
Sweet Life (vocal melodies aren't great, good work by the band though, esp the last minute or so)
---Do not care for---
ALL THE POINTLESS INTERLUDESTRUMENTALS (wish he would do some vocals over White though)
Sierra Leone (do not like the vocal melodies, last 60 seconds is alright I guess)
Pink Matter (boring?)
Not sure I can be bothered to now you've beat me to it.
Basically, it's one of my favourite albums of the year, and I'm a sucker for a cohesive R&B record with a few massive standouts, but I doubt it will be up there with my favourite records of the decade or anything.
I think the best of Frankie is still to come, tbh. Based on complete conjecture, I could see him producing a next album that surpasses this, yets gets a cooler reception from the critics.
The greatness is a little overstated at this point, generally speaking of course. I'm not denying the very real and personal connection many people are having to it. Hopefully it gets more people to reconsider r&b, cos this stuff isn't far removed from a lot of *better* stuff.
The last para in this av club review touches on a few parallel albums that outshine CO, imo. Maxwells last album being the cream; such an undervalued album, nearly perfect.
I imagine the second instalment will get some amazing reviews from the indie press if it lives up to the hype. Catch up time.
Sweet life is probably my favourite now.
Pyramid is great as well.
TOO MANY JOY RIDES IN DADDY'S JAG-WAH.
Very demo-y but it's great to hear from him again, nonetheless.