Frank Ocean at Coachella in 2012. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Opinion

Opinion: Endless Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean is one of the most versatile artists alive. His music inspires others to think creatively, discover their interests and be grateful for their memories.
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/alexismartin6/" target="_self">Alexis Martin</a>

Alexis Martin

December 22, 2021
Christopher Edwin Breaux, better known as Frank Ocean, is one of the best musical artists of our time.

Among the many current musicians, 34-year-old Ocean stands out as one of the most humble, down-to-earth people alive.

His music falls into the alternative hip-hop and R&B category, one that is not traditionally mainstream.  But after receiving more recognition, he has successfully paved his own path in the music industry. Ocean’s discography includes the popular album, “Blonde” (2015), as well as the Grammy-winning album, “Channel Orange” (2012).  The albums take the listener on two remarkable journeys, diving into various experiences that highlight Ocean’s powerful music.

In these albums, Ocean, who was born in nearby Long Beach and grew up in New Orleans, develops a sense of vulnerability, a factor that allures the curiosity of many listeners. His lyrics flow off his tongue, and he freely articulates the messages he effortlessly conveys, while his words continue to hold significant value.

Ocean’s complex storylines draw the listener’s attention, compelling anyone to become deeply intrigued.  For example, in “Blonde,” Ocean reflects on his childhood, which details his regret and perception of life through a gratified viewpoint.

By contrast, “Channel Orangetakes on an upbeat tone, which follows Ocean through a memorable romance he experienced many years prior.

Although Ocean’s music may seem primarily somber and somewhat intense, his music fits perfectly for any occasion.

“Frank is awesome! I listen to him when I am feeling happy or sad,” Emilie Alden, a proud fan and sophomore at Chadwick School, said. 

All of Ocean’s songs have varied musical tones, instruments and sounds, which contribute heavily to the greater meaning behind each of them.

In “Seigfried,” a track off of “Blonde,” the violin usage — along with Ocean’s lyrics — evokes a feeling of reminiscence, a feeling that is not typically brought to mind.  On the contrary, in “Sweet Life,” a track from “Channel Orange,” the harmonies of Ocean’s voice evoke a feeling of joy, which lightens the mood of his listeners.

Among Ocean’s personal characteristics, his work ethic is most notable.  His past consistency with releasing music, his continued drive, his passion for music, his artistic and creative inclination and his admirable attitude are what has driven him to be so successful over the years.  And yet, he has not been as successful in releasing new music. It has been more than five years since Ocean released “Blonde.”

It only makes sense that if more people listen to Ocean, new music will come faster.  Not only will this benefit the artist, but it will also benefit all of Ocean’s listeners, who have been desperately waiting for what feels like a millennium.

Listening to music through the lens of Ocean will allow anyone to live life through an optimistic, modest and more positive mindset — all qualities that Ocean has acquired and continues to spread with his impactful words and sounds.

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