Frank Ocean: Nostalgia, ULTRA

Frank Ocean
Nostalgia, ULTRA
(Island Def Jam)

Talented singer/songwriter/producer Frank Ocean went on an online rant earlier this year about his reasons for releasing Nostalgia, ULTRA independently—mainly because his record label wouldn’t drop it. Fast forward to July 26, 2011, and the same label (Island Def Jam) re-released it on iTunes. Now that’s a power move.

Lest not forget, the mature 23-year-old New Orleans native is also the lone singer of the much-hyped LA-based hip hop collective Odd Future.  He has penned tracks for Beyonce and Justin Beiber and is also at work with Jay-Z and Kanye West on the highly-anticipated Watch The Throne. Even still, Nostalgia pushes into the progressive R&B category: a mix-bag of emotions really. From the urban radio standout “Novacane,” to the absentee-father mix “There Will Be Tears,” Ocean kind of lays it all on the line.

Nevertheless, other faves are “We All Try,” “lovecrimes,” “Swim Good,” and “American Wedding,” which samples The Eagles’ “Hotel California,” a track seemingly about quickie marriages and even quicker divorces these days. A testament to Ocean’s clever songwriting skills.

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About ND McCray

ND McCray is a former Brooklynite, now Beijing-based writer, penning pieces on arts, culture and other stuff.
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