Flashy and glitzy glam encases entertainers these days as they attempt to whip up an overbearing sense of “cool.” They hide under their masks of uber ginormous shades, sequined costumes and outrageous hair hues exuding an out-of-this-world image many of us look up to and scowl at. Songs of a unanimous urge for the same deep message emanate in the air ferociously expressing their tireless desire to fall in love in the club, dancing till the world ends in the club and hitting the floor…..in the club. These artists send an empowering theme that hits to the core of the soul…Yea right. But enough with these club obsessed, facades choking up our airwaves with its nonsense. It’s time for someone real.
A good beating of what’s authentic and true can toughen our listening skin for some actual music. Frank Ocean collides against the gimmicks and charades parading around the scene. He brings in a breath of fresh air of blunt truth. Being part of the versatile hip hop collection OFWGKTA (Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All) relishes this cutting-edge musician. Tracks off his mix-tape “Nostalgia/Ultra” surprise and enthrall the mind with its varying beats and crude experiences of life. Select songs have an annoying alarm buzzer emphasizing the dream like state protruding throughout this album.
“American Wedding” sadly demonstrates the tale of a happy, young couple taking the big lifelong commitment too early. A melancholy sound delicately takes in the tragic story of a road to happiness quickly ending in heartache.
A funky sound introduces a flow of auto-tune beats expressing the casualty of using music to get a pretty girl in “Songs for Women”. The chill vibe extenuates the ease Ocean has in foretelling his habit of singing his heart into a woman’s arms. Although, karma hits him in the chest in an unexpected twist.
Smooth and nonchalant grooves brings in a testimony of a lost way in “Swim Good.” A light organ lifts the hopeless feelings of heartbreak and giving up as Ocean pours his sleek resonance into a dismal tale of driving his troubles into the sea.
His single “Novacane” sent shock-waves of frank honesty the world’s not so used to hearing in R&B today. Yet, his music is just like the ocean: gentle and rough at the same time. The ripples of the veneer of many artists only disappear within the immensity of this industry. Hopefully, this Ocean will transcend tidal waves of good tunes to come.