channel ORANGE
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Three Years Later: Channel Orange

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At the forefront of R&B’s shift to moody, provocative, narrative-driven soundscapes stands Frank Ocean, one of contemporary music’s most reclusive trailblazers. Ocean’s unprecedented mix of hip hop’s grittiness, R&B’s delicacy and his own unapologetic vulnerability resonates with a wide audience that transcends racial and sociopolitical lines. His 2012 masterpiece, Channel Orange, allowed neosoul to establish its coveted spot in the mainstream, setting a precedent for the lyrically complex R&B that would follow its release. Ocean’s true genius lies within his ability to push cultural and musical boundaries without alienating traditionalists; his brand of innovation is all-inclusive.


After the well-received release of Channel Orange, Ocean slipped into the shadows, watching the after-effects of his pivotal major label debut play out from afar. Notorious for being a man of few words, he crafted each of his public statements following Channel Orange’s release meticulously and with utmost purpose. On the rare occasion that Ocean speaks, the entire world feels inclined to listen.

Channel Orange is a transportive portrait of a man coming to terms with his own identity. Fueled by complex musicality and clever, thoughtful narratives, the album contains a multitude of nuances that reveal themselves to listeners over time rather than upon first glance. Three years after its release, it's safe to champion Channel Orange as a modern-day classic.

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