Frank Ocean, 'Channel Orange': Odd Future's R&B Crooner Drops Debut Album A Week Early

Frank Ocean Channel Orange

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 07/09/12 09:24 PM ET Updated: 07/10/12 12:49 PM ET

He has written songs for Beyonce, John Legend and Justin Bieber and sang with Kanye and Jay-Z. Now it's his turn: Frank Ocean has dropped a studio album of his own. Channel Orange hit iTunes shortly after his appearance on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," and the 24-year-old's debut effort did not disappoint.

The physical copies of the album don't hit stores until next week. Def Jam had slated Channel Orange for a July 17 release, but Ocean had previously said he wished he could surprise fans (though, in the Twitter age, the secret was revealed soon after Ocean taped the Fallon performance). Releasing Channel Orange a week early is a smart move, especially given the fact that Def Jam had also scheduled a certain Nasir Jones' album for the 17th (Life Is Good is still set to drop on that date).

HuffPost Entertainment was treated to an advance listen to the album a few weeks ago in New York. Ocean was on hand to present the music to a handful of journalists, and it is safe to say most left the Manhattan listening party impressed, if not blown away. In an age when nearly every R&B singer (Usher, Chris Brown, etc.) is turning to thin, horribly unsubtle dance music, it's refreshing to see a young artist stay true to his vision and, indeed, his calling.

No two tracks on Channel Orange are the same, but all of them are expertly and fully produced. Nearly every outro and intro comes with modulations in tone as organs blare, crashing waves, strings, dog barks, falling rain, playing kids, finger snaps, slamming car doors, tape deck sounds (familiar to those who listened to nostalgia, ULTRA, Ocean's more than impressive mixtape) and other accouterments build out the album. There's a current of self-awareness in the lyrics that is mirrored in these aural interruptions, making the whole package all the more cohesive and believable.

As a result, the album rings with maturity -- even on tracks where Ocean considers his own insecurities. He knows how to let a song breathe (a la Jay-Z) before approaching the microphone.

"If it brings me to my knees, it's a bad religion," he eventually croons on "Bad Religion," one of the album's finer moments. Elsewhere, on a track featuring fellow Odd Future star Earl Sweatshirt, he explores the discomfort he feels around "Super Rich Kids."

Also making appearances are John Mayer and none other than Andre 3000, on "White" and "Pink Matter," respectively.

Ocean, who recently penned a blog post in which he described falling in love with a man, has quickly arisen from a critically adored but mostly unknown mixtape king to a hip-hop tabloid magnet. But while his personal life is controversial in a community that has long struggled with homophobia (though the likes of Dream Hampton and Beyonce have come out in support of Ocean in recent days, his fellow Odd Future bandmates have been known to freely and aggressively use the word "f----t"), there is a vulnerability and boldness in his music that may very well propel him past the Twitterverse's current obsession with his sexual orientation.

At that same New York listening event, Ocean shook every guest's hand and thanked them for coming, before mumbling that "these things are awkward by nature" and hitting play on his Macbook. For the duration of the album, he sat with his back to the assembled journalists, apparently nervously texting and having perhaps two sips of a fancy orange-themed cocktail provided by the label. No one minded, the music did all the talking for itself.

Check out the album's cover art and tracklist after the below gallery of Frank Ocean's music. Physical copies of Channel Orange hit stores July 17.

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  • Frank Ocean - Thinking About You [Official Music Video]

    Music video by Frank Ocean performing Thinking About You . (C) 2011 The Island Def Jam Music Group I know what you're thinking. "Didn't I see a video for this a few months ago?" High5Collective did release visuals for Frank Ocean's "Thinking About You" back in September, but now Def Jam is now officially and legitimately releasing the video. It's not easy to follow, but it's filled with zombies(?), Frank Ocean as a doctor, and a very sick little girl. Watch it below and see what you think. Frank Ocean's "Thinking About You" is one of his standout tracks that to many, probably comes across as a straightforward love song. For the visuals, things aren't so simple. The video explores the dreams of a sick girl, a few primitive zombie-looking people, and some celestial activity. Check it out and see if you can put together the pieces and make some sense of it all. Watch alternative hip hop artist Frank Ocean in the (OMV) official music video for the song "Thinking About You Frank Ocean - Thinking About You [Official Music Video] Frank Ocean - Thinking About You [Official Music Video] Frank Ocean - Thinking About You [Official Music Video] Frank Ocean - Thinking About You [Official Music Video]

  • Frank Ocean - Swim Good

    Music video by Frank Ocean performing Swim Good. (C) 2011 The Island Def Jam Music Group

  • Frank Ocean - Novacane

    Music video by Frank Ocean performing Novacane. (C) 2011 The Island Def Jam Music Group

  • [New] Frank Ocean- Pyramids (Full Length Song 2012)

    It's the first leak off Frank Ocean's upcoming album "Channel Orange" Which drops July 17th!!! (Full Song) @KeiThreads Like and Subscibe for new beats and music!

  • Frank Ocean - Sweet Life

    Add Me On Facebook: www.facebook.com www.facebook.com www.facebook.com Follow Me On Twitter: www.twitter.com ____________________________________________ Frank Ocean - Sweet Life Frank Ocean - Sweet Life Frank Ocean - Sweet Life

  • Tyler The Creator - She (feat. Frank Ocean)

    Tyler the Creator - She (featuring Frank Ocean). Directed By Wolf Haley. Filmed By Luis Ponch Perez Produced By Tara Razavi Tyler Creator Frank Ocean Lional Boyce Jasper Dolphin Lucas Sagan Lockhart Domo Genesis Milan Wolf Haley

  • Frank Ocean - We All Try Official Video [Lyrics In Description]

    ATTENTION: I Do Not Own ANYTHING At All. Just Enjoyin Music :D Lyrics: [Verse 1] I believe Jehovah Jireh I believe there's heaven, I believe in war I believe a woman's temple Gives her the right to choose but baby don't abort I believe that marriage isn't Between a man and woman but between love and love And I believe you when you say that you've lost all faith But you must believe in something, something, something You gotta believe in something, something, something [Hook] I still believe in man A wise one asked me why Cause I just don't believe we're wicked I know that we sin but I do believe we try We all try, the girls try, the boys try Women try, men try, you and I try, try, we all try [Verse 2] I don't believe in time travel I don't believe our nation's flag is on the moon I don't believe our lives are simple And I don't believe they're short, this is interlude I don't believe my hands are cleanly Can't believe that you would let me touch your heart She didn't believe me when I said that I lost my faith You must believe in something, something, something You gotta believe in something, something, something [Hook] Try to believe (just try) I do believe I do believe

  • Frank Ocean- Love Crimes Original

    I hope you enjoy it. Follow me on twitter twitter.com twitter.com Add me on Facebook www.facebook.com Follow me on Tumblr www.tumblr.com altrafab.tumblr.com latina504.tumblr.com

  • White- Frank Ocean (OF Tape Vol. 2) lyrics

    beautiful. go buy the fucking album. disclaimer: shit isn't mine. Could this be Earth? Could this be light? Does this mean everything, is going to be alright? One look out my window there's trees talking like people I've dreamt of storms, I've dreamt of sound I've dreamt of gravity, keeping us around I've slept in the darkness, it was lonely, and there was silence What is this love? I don't feel the same Don't believe what this is, could be given a name I woke, you were there, tracing planets on my forehead But I forget 23 like I forget 17 And I forget my first love, like you forget a daydream And what if all my wild friends, and the times I've had with them Will all fade to grey soon, on the TV station

  • Frank Ocean - There Will Be Tears

    "I DO NOT OWN THIS SONG" for copyright reasons

  • Kanye West & Jay Z (Ft. Frank Ocean) - No Church in the Wild

    LYRICS: [Frank Ocean] Human beings in a mob What's a mob to a king? What's a king to a god? What's a god to a non-believer? Who don't believe in anything? We make it out alive All right, all right No church in the wild [Jay-Z] Tears on the mauseoleum floor Blood stains the coliseum doors Lies of the lips of a priest Thanksgiving disguised as a feast Rollin' in the Rolls-Royce Corniche Only the doctors got this, I'm hidin' from police Cocaine seats All white like I got the whole thing bleached Drug dealer chic I'm wonderin' if a dove's prayers reach It's pious Pius, the god loves Pius Socrates asks, "Whose bias do y'all seek?" Or for Plato, the screech I'm out chere ballin', I know you hear my sneaks Jesus was a carpenter, Yeezy, he lay beats Hova flow the Holy Ghost, get the hell up out your seats Preach Human beings in a mob What's a mob to a king? What's a king to a god? What's a god to a non-believer? Who don't believe in anything? We make it out alive All right, all right No church in the wild Let me buy you Desire I stand by you Walk through the fire Your life Is my Scripture And I need it Through your encryption Yeah, yeah [Kanye West] Coke on her black skin made a stripe like a zebra I call that jungle fever You will not control the threesome Just roll the weed up until I get me some We formed a new religion No sins as long as there's permission' And deception is the only felony So never fuck nobody wit'out tellin' me Sunglasses and Advil Last night was mad real <b>...</b>

  • Frank Ocean - Voodoo (w/ Lyrics & Download Link)

    frankoceanfans.tumblr.com LYRICS Darker times They're telling boulder heavy lies Looks like all we've got is each other The truth is obsolete Remember when all i had was my mother She didn't compromise She could recognize Voodoo Our daughters and our sons Are just candles in the sun Voodoo Don't let him see divide Don't you let her see divide Voodoo She's got the whole wide world in her juicy fruit He's got the whole wide world in his pants He wrapped the whole wide world in a wedding band Then put the whole wide world on her hands She's got the whole wide world in her hands He's got the whole wide world in his hands. Download Link: www.sharebeast.com Frank Ocean - Voodoo LYRICS Frank Ocean - Voodoo LYRICS Frank Ocean - Voodoo DOWNLOAD LINK Tyler The Creator OFWGKTA NEW MUSIC Lonny Breaux

  • Frank Ocean - I Miss You

    At The Bowery Ballroom In New York

  • Ready- Frank Ocean

    Ready by Frank Ocean

channel orange album art

channel orange tracklist

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