Channel Orange - Frank Ocean
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 432 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 33 out of 432

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  1. N10
    Jul 18, 2012
    10
    The R&B that I loved, I thought was gone, but damn I was wrong. This is an instant classic. The themes and some of it's concept kinda reminds me of Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. And just too compare Ocean with those great artists is something really big. For an debut album it´s great, it's fantastic. It's been years since I heard an R&B debut strong as this one. I've been a big fan of Ocean for quite a while now, and I was sick worried of how the album would be, If it's going to be a disappointment or not. And no. This is absolutley amazing. And now I'm honest, just because I'm a fan it doesn't mean that I'm lying, wouldn't lie to myself, that's pretty stupid. The lyrics are really good, better than I expected. I mean, I've always known that he was a good lyricist, but this was fenomenal. The story of each song is moslty fun, romantic, and sad. It simply is fantastic. He has improved as an artist, just listen to the song "Bad Religion"... Wow, an instant classic and one of the best songs of the year. That's cool, but then their are songs like "Sweet Life", "Super Rich Kids", "Pink Matter", and "Pyramids". And what about them? They all earn a grammy. Yeah, they all do. No other R&B artist has a song at the same level and quality as Ocean does this year. Just one, who? Ushers "Climax". And that's a great song. But yet, theirs no other one. How about Chris Brown? What about it. I pretty much like his music for the fun, and there was no other R&B artist to listen to at that time, just him and Usher just to mention somebody. But then it came two great and MATURED R&B artists. Frank Ocean and The Weeknd. If you haven't heard of him, check him out. Browns latest "Fortune" was mediocre, I'll give it a try agian later. A grammy nomination would be a disgrace to music. But I wouldn't be surprised if it would, there's no other in that category and genre now these days. And don't misunderstand me, I love Ushers music, but I like his older more. That's it.
    Kinda off-topic now, but please buy the album, buy the album if you support great music. It's a masterpiece of 2012. If this doesen't win a grammy for best album, then yeah. Their taste of music is bad. I mean wack.
    It's an beautiful album. The production doesn't feel cheap at all, either way around and also the lyrics. It's detailed, and the stories are for the most part absolutely brilliant! Buy it! It's worth it. ;)
    This ain't average, this is fantastic!
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  2. Jul 18, 2012
    10
    The best album I have heard since Kanye's Beautiful Dark Twisted Mind, Channel Orange works not as a bunch of radio-friendly songs thrown together on a CD as we so often here today but rather as 55 minutes of music that all blends together, creating, as Ocean said in his letter, "a world rosier than mine." The only disappointment for me that comes along with this classic is that some people have said this is a mediocre album that only gets attention because of his recent coming out letter. I will admit that this is complex music and some people might not be able to handle it right now (I mean if you go from listening to only the dance music on the radio to this, you're either going to feel enlightened or just not feel it...I probably wouldn't have been able to listen to this album a few years ago) but his recent coming out has *nothing* to do with the reception of this album- it is a classic that is finally giving people something fresh...and hearing people say its because of his sexuality really gets me frustrated...Anyways...lets hope we have stuff like this from Frank Ocean (and the Weeknd) to listen to for years to come! Expand
  3. Jul 19, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. channel ORANGE already feels like a classic, making R&B refreshing and innovating than it ever been in recent history. Frank Ocean blends jazz-funk, soul, classic R&B, and electronic in one engrossing debut; kind of like the many different programs of a television. However, what makes channel ORANGE so compelling is in the lyrics. As a storyteller, Frank brings you to the emptiness of Los Angeles. where sometimes love isn't valued. Wealthy partied out teens with no motivation or loving parents, drug addicts, strippers - Frank is observing it all. Not only observing, but providing their perspectives; he's not judging, but only reflecting. And, it seems that Frank's characters are not the only ones going through struggles.
    Throughout the album, Frank expresses unrequited love. Going through heartbreak, Frank voices his wrenching pain on the emotional climax "Bad Religion." This track is a good representation of the album as a whole - musically, it appeals to the ear with its soul. Emotional? It hits you where it hurts. But, it does not make the album less beautiful.
    Using his noir characters and himself, Frank explores human nature, even the dark, aimless abyss of it. Yet, just like the quote, "better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all," Frank's one-sided love and heartbreak shines a light through the album's tragic, lifeless characters - leaving you with hope.
    Just how Kanye West's "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" pushed boundaries for modern hip-hop, channel ORANGE is doing the same for R&B while still being grounded on the genre's roots.
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  4. Jul 19, 2012
    10
    Frank Ocean is 24 years old and much like Janelle Monae, he's on another level of genius. As a black artist in America, it is very hard to dodge the pigeon-hole and to do it with deft. There will be detractors who say that he got a publicity boost from his personal declaration-- and I would argue that they would be correct but only in the commercial aspect. If you'd been following him at all before his blog posting, you would've surely checked out "Pyramids" which murders any Trey Songz, Drake, Chris Brown, or The Dream song. That single set the tone for the push behind the critical acclaim, not his affair with another man. Someone has to learn from Monae's mistake--she had one of the most outstanding albums in recent memory but we feel we're too hard pressed for time to really listen. The vocals on "Sweet Life" are so reminiscent of D'Angelo, I think he may be attempting to challenge the man. "Pyramids" is an epic poem worth dissecting line by line, not to mention one that effortlessly bridges the present discotheque-hip-pop with the funky-90s-XXX-R&B (think Bel-Biv) . "Crack Rock" is our generation's "Too High" by Stevie Wonder. Let's not mention the interludes, which can be disconnect and trite, but only add to the cohesion of channel ORANGE. "Fertilizer" is clever and "Not Just Money" hits so close to home, the line about eating a hot-link to assuage the pain of being broke hurts.

    Now I'm just waiting on his collabo with Janelle Monae.
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  5. Jul 19, 2012
    9
    Nostalgia, Ultra was my favorite album (mixtape) of 2011. I didn't expect the new album to come close but I was wrong. The falsetto in Thinking Bout You is stunning.
  6. Jul 18, 2012
    10
    Channel Orange is an instant classic. The album is the best to be released from any member of the Hip-Hop super-group, Odd Future thus far. Ocean's smooth voice, and brilliant song writing exemplify what has been missing in most music nowadays, and that is originality. It is very safe to say that Channel Orange is the 2012 album of the year at this point.
  7. Jul 18, 2012
    10
    The Album Is Such An Improvement From Nostalgia, Ultra That Is Almost unbelievable, Songs Like Thinkin bout You And Bad Religion Are Simply Breathtaking But Channel, Orange Greatness Lies In The Few Songs Where The Writing Seems Not So Complicated (Lost, Crack Rock) Channel, ORANGE Does Not Have Bad Songs Only Non Perfect Moments
  8. Jul 19, 2012
    10
    Stunning. People who are giving this album less than an 8 are overlooking the genuineness of the singer and his song-writing abilities. He is a true artist that will stick around for a while. A modern day Marvin Gaye in my opinion.
  9. Jul 19, 2012
    10
    Frank ocean is truly very talented, he is great, beautiful lyrics and beats, harmonies, impressive album. my favorite tracks: Pyramids, Pilot Jones, Lost, Bad Religion, Sweet Life, Monks, Forest Gump, Thinkin Bout You
  10. Jul 19, 2012
    10
    Why is it that the reviewers who gave Channel Orange negative scores, also gave Lana Del Rey 10/10? I guess instead of listening to poignant critiques of opulence and wealth, they'd rather hear superficial musings about it.
  11. Jul 19, 2012
    10
    This is not just a classic R&B album, this is just a classic. Ocean gives the listener everything he has, opening himself up and displaying his most personal feelings for everybody to see. Its sincere, its beautiful, its powerful and you can completely lose yourself for the entirety of the album.
  12. Jul 20, 2012
    10
    Frank Ocean Is the new savior Of R&B. This album reminds me of Marvin Gaye. Alot of artists don't have strong debut albums. But Frank Ocean is proving the whole world that his music is worthy to the planet. I wish i could rate this higher because this album is the best of 2012
  13. Jul 18, 2012
    10
    I dont even like R&B, but this is probably my favorite album of 2012 so far. Definitely worth checking this album out, no matter what your tastes are.
  14. Jul 19, 2012
    10
    Beautiful, elegant, cohesive. All adjectives to describe this wonderful debut album. Looking forward the rest of Frank Ocean's career. The best relatively mainstream r&b album I have heard since Usher's Confessions or Ne-yo's Year of the Gentleman. Frank is in the lane of Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye and holds his own. Brilliant songwriter and has dropped the best album of 2012 so far. Although it is not perfect, it is close. Expand
  15. Jul 19, 2012
    10
    The first real R&B album from a popular artist in at least 5 years. Excellent replay value and not a track worth skipping. Frank's storytelling ability in songs like Pyramids and Lost are incomparable to anybody else in music right now, and with the help of Malay, Pharell, and Tyler , Frank produces the entire album masterfully.
  16. Jul 19, 2012
    10
    Songs on this album are like pieces of puzzle! Just like his open letter, now many hate on this guy more than ever. channel ORANGE is arguably Album of the Year.
  17. Jul 19, 2012
    10
    The perfect continuation to Nostalgia, ultra.

    It is a long, epic album, to consume as a whole, and with very simple compositions - the last hidden song is just a lounging nice final- and with really introspective lyrics.
  18. Nov 25, 2012
    9
    Extraordinary, layered, textured, addictive and a chocolate box who's flavours may differ but are all damned delicious. My stand out tracks are Pyramids and Super Rich Kids. I'm a Whats Goin' On kinda guy and with a bit of nurturing and maturing I believe Ocean can give us all something equally as special - until then it's a 9/10 for me...
  19. Jul 18, 2012
    9
    This record is simultaneously incredibly fresh and nostalgic. Borrowing classic R&B elements and combining them with modern beats, great guest rap verses, and hugely innovative songwriting, Channel Orange is a GIANT step forward for frank, and also for the entire genre of 'PBR&B.' Breaking free of the traditional Odd Future niche in many places, Frank creates some truly astounding vocal and musical phrases which are complimented by dazzling production and arrangement. Mark my words: countless Frank Ocean imitators are about to start popping up in what seems to be the next hot style in Hip-Hop/R&B. Easily the freshest and most innovative album to come out so far this year, if not the decade. I honestly believe that this album may be a gamechanger in pop culture. Also, Andre 3000 spits the Verse of the century on 'Pink Matter.' The man is supernaturally talented. Expand
  20. Jul 19, 2012
    10
    hey mr. keep_yr_bias you forgot to add the 10 . ORANGE Chanel is a great album. Thank you sir frank ocean by this record is the first time an r & B artist so pleasantly surprised me. Pyramids 10/10, sweet life 10/10 etc etc. I love Adele's voice but she needed more creativity and better arrangements on several songs, 21. Frank ocean has all those components creativity, depth and art songs. One of the best albums of 2012 but the best Expand
  21. Jul 19, 2012
    10
    Frank Ocean is amazing! This album proves what he is truly capable of! when i saw it was 92/100 from critics i was kind of shocked! Not even drake got that high of a score.
  22. Jul 20, 2012
    10
    Basically, the best album since My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and one of the greatest debut albums I have ever heard. If Frank can top this... wow.
  23. Jul 19, 2012
    10
    amazing. his album is reminiscent to prince mixed with take your pick of RnB singers. his range is splendid. i agree wholeheartedly that this is the RnB we were waiting for.
  24. Jul 19, 2012
    10
    Easily one of the greater, defining albums of this new era of music. Frank Ocean blends genres and tell us enchanting stories with ease. On top of his ingenious song writing, his melodies will have us all humming away when we at least expect it. Ocean's music is a breath of fresh clean air that he allows all of us, male or female, to inhale.
  25. Jul 19, 2012
    10
    The meteoric rise of Frank Ocean is undoubtedly indebted to his charismatic persona. He is a very intimate human being who is willing to fully wear his heart on his sleeve, but not for the attention. While a lot of focus has recently been cast upon his sexuality, his courage translates to great songs as well, and all the hype hater should admit that this guy is a very gifted songwriter. His songs are almost uncomfortably personal ranging from heart-wrenchingly gorgeous (Bad Religion), to intelligently observing (crack rock), to surprisingly funny (Super Rich Kids). The variety of these songs is exceptional for hip-hop and Frank himself gives across a vibe similar to Stevie Wonder of Marvin Gaye. He's an old soul who has an indie reputation and an ear toward mainstream. Superlatives and praise will undoubtedly be heaped upon him, but rightfully so for this is one of the freshest sounds in hip-hop, maybe in music in general. He's just as radical and revolutionary as his Odd Future mates, but as a singer/song-writer he is second to none. Give this album a shot even if you are not into hip-hop, you might just get hooked. (10/10) Expand
  26. Jul 20, 2012
    10
    Best album of the year So Far. The album really doesn't have a horrible song. Great all the way through, production was great and is just a masterpiece.
  27. Jul 21, 2012
    9
    The best albums are often born out of the struggle to overcome adversity and pain. The process of picking over, examining, and releasing demons through the medium of music mostly results in albums that are honest, unguarded, and emotionally raw - all of which makes for a bloody-good listen. While Channel Orange, the debut album by 24-year-old singer-songwriter/rapper Frank Ocean, certainly fits into this category, it is Ocean Expand
  28. Jul 23, 2012
    10
    Really creative, smooth and lyrically meaningful R&B. Channel Orange brings a deep, poetic lyricism to R&B that has been sadly absent for quite some time. And the beats and his vocals are nice and polished. Definitely a must have album.
  29. Aug 9, 2012
    9
    This album is nothing short of amazing.
    Not immediately - it takes a while to fully appreciate.
    There are little details in the production that are almost subliminal - people talking quietly in the distance, the sound of a woman turned on, etc. These details make the music exciting and rewarding to keep coming back to.
    The style is so inventive - Ocean takes you on a journey similar to
    what I would think of Pink Floyd doing.
    This music makes me so thoughtful and reflective - his emotions pour out in nearly all the songs. Favorites are Lost, Bad Religion, Thinkin Bout You and Forrest Gump. The whole album, however slow, possibly cliched and wandering at times, is an emotional and enthralling journey I would recommend to anyone with an open mind. I've been listening to Channel Orange nonstop.
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Metascore
92

Universal acclaim - based on 46 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 46
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 46
  3. Negative: 0 out of 46
  1. Sep 14, 2012
    80
    Sumptuous and sprawling, his major label debut comfortably backs up the hype. [Oct 2012, p.86]
  2. Aug 20, 2012
    80
    While Ocean's artistic ambition is impressive, it's his haunting candour that really casts a spell. [Sep 2012, p.106]
  3. Aug 8, 2012
    80
    [A] rich and complex album. [Sep 2012, p.95]