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Matson on Music

Music news, concert reviews, analysis and opinion by music writer Andrew Matson.

October 16, 2012 at 10:36 AM

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Fall with Frank Ocean: 'White' (feat. John Mayer)

Frank Ocean's "Channel Orange" is the summer/fall album of 2012 — a low-key stroke of genius from the Los Angeles-via-New Orleans R&B singer-songwriter, making headlines for bringing man/man romance into pop R&B. But it's deeper than that. I'm blogging about each song individually, in order. Sorry but Internet Explorer does not support the full album stream below.

"White" is a deep, instrumental cut on "Channel Orange" that functions on the album like a segue or interlude — not essential on its own, but the song-equivalent of a rug that really ties the room together. It floats into and out of existence, featuring John Mayer noodling inoffensively on guitar, and is gone without leaving much of an impression. Fans of Ocean's buddies in the rambunctious Los Angeles rap crew Odd Future will recognize the basic chords and title from last spring's "Odd Future Tape Vol. 2," where Ocean sang a verse about gravity, dreams and TV. But this newer "White" is different, more about creating a zennish mood and sense of space.

Summer of Frank Ocean: "Thinkin Bout You"
Summer of Frank Ocean: "Fertilizer"
Summer of Frank Ocean: "Sierra Leone"
Summer of Frank Ocean: "Sweet Life"
Summer of Frank Ocean: "Super Rich Kids (feat. Earl Sweatshirt)"

Summer of Frank Ocean: "Pilot Jones"
Summer of Frank Ocean: "Crack Rock"
Summer of Frank Ocean: "Pyramids"
Summer of Frank Ocean: "Lost"


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