Frank Ocean's 'Channel Orange': A Track-by-Track Preview
Published Jun 29, 20126. "Not Just Money"
A spoken interlude about happiness over tinny traffic sounds and a turning indicator.
7. "Super Rich Kids" (ft. Earl Sweatshirt)
A talk-sung, pseudo-rap verse from Ocean over an emphatic piano and drum stomp leads to a borrowed chorus from Mary J. Blige's "Real Love," but the highlight is a slow, methodical rap verse courtesy of Earl Sweatshirt. Ocean's falsetto refrain makes it clear why the rapping in Odd Future is left to others.
8. "Pilot Jones"
The channel-surfing leads quickly to reversed synths and hammering sub-woofers, isolating Ocean's voice so that his melody, one of the best here, lilts loud and clear above the instrumental tracks. Synth chords come in briefly near the end, but fade out again quickly into Rhodes for "Crack Rock."
9. "Crack Rock"
Fans of the Roots' early catalog will recognize the Rhodes keyboard and Questlove-style, hi-hat-heavy beat. The best part, though, is when the drums halt for Ocean's melancholy chorus, and then start back up again to propel the song's verses, about (surprise!) the adverse effects of drugs.
You've heard this one, but not until you've heard it on a space-encompassing, brain-rattling speaker system. The synth breakdown a minute in hits especially hard.
Another slow build, "Lost" begins with spare guitar, keyboard whorls and tight, cracking snare. As jabs of string ensemble are slowly added to the mix, so are more of Ocean's background vocals and and stacks of harmony. Look for at least a trio of background singers on Ocean's upcoming tour.