The contrast of Moog buzz and the wordsmith's featherlight touch reaches full tilt with 'Hallelujah, Goodnight!' but takes a sharp left with the equally charismatic 'Bat Coma Motown,' where banjo and trumpet hug it out while dancing the Temptation Walk.
Where the latter two releases felt like "Hail Marys" tossed into the musical ether, Ocean serves as a return to the kind of sharp-tongued, Beatlesque retro-pop that fueled 2005's "Novelist/Walking Without Effort" and the aforementioned "Letdown."
If you’re reading this, stick with it. It has some real rewards in the back end--my only hope is that the songs were recorded in chronological order, to suggest that this is the direction Swift will take future albums.