While pop is currently in the golden age of exacting self-reflection– an often beguiling phenomenon spurred on by the internet’s infinite mirror– Ocean is interested in a more selfless pursuit. “As a lifestyle, you always being the focal point is innately unhealthy,” Ocean recently told The New York Times. “I like the anonymity that directors can have about their films. Even though it’s my voice, I’m a storyteller.” Those tales are as wide-ranging as they are engrossing, always benefitting from Ocean’s eye for detail and specificity. There are sly California class observations in the vein of Joan Didion or Randy Newman, where latchkey “Super Rich Kids” can’t see past their own one-percent “Sweet Life”. But once again, Ocean isn’t just sniping easy targets; “why see the world when you got the beach?” he asks, a Rorschach test of a hook that leaves its levels of bliss or cynicism wholly up to the listener.
Review of Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange. [via Pitchfork]