Friday, August 19, 2016

Frank Ocean : "Endless"

I need to pretend this first song didn't song happen. The guitarist for Radiohead is on the second song. Which is a cover of the Isley Brothers. He raps more on this one. There is plenty of false hetro swagger on this song. So we have waited four years for this? The album is littered with interludes there are 7 real songs. Very ballad heavy there is a strange stark feeling in the production. I was released as one track streaming on iTunes, so it is often hard to tell where the real songs begin and end. The question to ask when listening to this album is how does this stack up against "Channel Orange"? So far almost half way into this 44 minute disjointed work the answer is not at all.

"Slide On Me" is the first song that's good. I like the almost dance hall cadence to his vocals. But as a whole he already wasted half an album just fucking around. Ocean versus the Weeknd, finds Frank getting slaughtered when it comes to songwriting. He is not in a genre of music that allows for random bits of ambiance. It's fitting that Greenwood is on this album because it feels like the same way Radiohead gave their label the middle finger with "Kid A" , but there were actually good songs on that album, here it's pieces of ideas not fully fleshed out.  "Sideways" wants to be more of a rap song, but it's unfocused which is the plight of most of these songs. There is jabber that this is not the real album, but a preview of an album to come. If you commit 44 minutes of music then you made an album. It might be a hard pill to swallow that Ocean could be a flash in the pan.

If Death Grips tried to make a r&b album the results could be very similar. There are little blips of falsetto crooning that don't fall anywhere near a beat or melody. When the beat does come in on "Death Wish" it's pretty week. Before releasing this Ocean said he had been influenced by the Beatles and Beach Boys, by Beach Boys it's obvious he meant the more experimental "Pet Sounds".  "Rushes" really fails to deliver in it's initial moments. His vocals have plenty of re-verb on them to keep things more disconnected. Finally a beat shows up, by Ocean is obviously too high to do more than watch it pass him by. This is a horrid disappointment. I'll give it a 5. If this is really not an album and just a taste of what is come then I don't want it.


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