We take a look through the back-catalogue of Frank Ocean to find five of his very best songs.
Despite only having released two studio albums thus far, Frank Ocean is a force to be reckoned with. The depth of his music featured within ‘Channel Orange’ and 2016’s ‘Blond’ show an intellectual artiste within his peak.
To celebrate this multi-layered artist, we thought we’d take a look into his back-catalogue and showcase just five examples of his songwriting and vocal abilities.
Here’s our five current favourite solo tracks from Frank Ocean. We thought including his collaborative efforts may be a little bit unfair.
‘Thinkin’ ‘Bout You’
By far his most recognised solo song, ‘Thinkin’ ‘Bout You’ is the song that boosted his recognition. The track reached number 32 on the Billboard Top 100 back in 2012 – his highest solo peak on the charts so far.
Demonstrating his songwriting strength perfectly, the song was written in its entirety by Frank himself, whose birth name was Christopher Breaux.
The atmospheric track also demonstrates his falsetto vocal range as he discusses the pain that comes with thinking about someone all the time.
Billed as Frank Ocean’s first charting lead single in 2010, ‘Novacane’ served as the perfect introduction to his storytelling capabilities.
The song details a story about a woman using drugs and making a living doing porn. Exploring common themes such as isolation and loneliness, the song received highly positive reviews and helped pave the way for his blossoming music career.
Released as the lead single from his second album ‘Blond’, ‘Nikes’ is another breezy number, which sees a pitched-up version of his voice lead the beginning of the song. Eventually, his vocals transition to his real voice in the second verse.
As a reintroduction, it served it’s purpose – reaching number 79 on the Billboard Top 100 and being credited as the 25th best song of 2016 by Pitchfork Magazine.
Seen as one of the most straightforward pop songs on ‘Channel Orange’, ‘Lost’ is infectiously catchy with its whistling synths and bass melody.
‘Lost’ tells the story of getting lost within the sunny heights of California whilst, at the same time, going into depths about a relationship with a cocaine-cooking girl – both literal and metaphorical references to being “lost”.
The track also features samples from the 1998 movie ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’.
Serving as a mid-album interlude in ‘Channel Orange’, ‘Pyramids’ is, by far, Frank Ocean’s most enchanting song.
In almost ten minutes, ‘Pyramids’ bends and mixes genres together to tell a detailed story about a pimp falling in love with a client, alongside numerous references and metaphors to the Egyptian pyramids and Cleopatra.
The track is a lyrical masterpiece, also featuring an uncredited guitar solo from John Mayer. Taking comparisons to Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’, the song travels from neon club banger to a smooth late-night R&B croon.
The journey is unreal, and one of the best examples of the sheer talent that is Frank Ocean.
What are your favourite Frank Ocean tracks? Let us know on Twitter.
Main image via NRK P3 (NRK P3 on flickr.com).