SONG: "Swim Good"
STANDOUT LYRICS: I'm going off, don't try stopping me/I'm going off, don't try saving/No flares, no vest, and no fear/Waves are washing me (out)
STORY: The nostalgia, Ultra song, disturbingly similar to Eminem's "Stan" in terms of construction, is reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart." Frank's rich vocal tones don't take away from the eeriness of his running-from-the world story. Could this be Poe's sequel?
SONG: "American Wedding"
STANDOUT LYRICS: My pretty woman in a ballgown, I'm Richard Gere in a tux/Getting married in a courthouse, writing vows in a rush/Making out before the judge with my teenage wife/Got a wedding band done that I just might die with
STORY: Although not in a (public and/or heterosexual) relationship of his own, Frank hits the nail on the head when giving the play-by-play of a dying American relationship. Love nowadays is riddled with ulterior motives, doubt, haste and a lack of serious committment, most of which he touches on in "American Wedding." Getting more specific with the characters and possibly adding in a worldly couple for variety could (we tell ya) be a bestseller.
STANDOUT LYRICS: She’s got the whole wide world in her juicy fruit/He’s got the whole wide world in his pants/He wrapped the whole wide world in a wedding band/Then put the whole wide world on her hands/She’s got the whole wide world in her hands/He’s got the whole wide world in his hands
STORY: Voodoo the book would be something special. In the song (which fades in and out on channel ORANGE's "Outro"), he prays that "he" and "she" won't see divide, and that they look past the sexual intentions of a union. When bonded together, they have the whole world in their hands, but what part of the equation is the voodoo?
STANDOUT LYRICS: When I stare into your eyes, I see my real life/That's why I never sleep with my back to you
STORY: This would be just one chapter in a book of short stories about love and all its many petals. When you're smitten, the simple things done to show the depth of your affection get overlooked. Frank never fails to highlight all the details.
SONG: "Sweet Life" + "Super Rich Kids"
STANDOUT LYRICS: Livin' in Ladera Heights, the black Beverly Hills/Domesticated paradise, palm trees and pools/The water's blue, swallow the pill and And some don’t end the way they should/My silver spoon has fed me good/A million one, a million cash/Close my eyes and feel the crash
STORY: Riches are both a blessing and a curse. On channel ORANGE, Frank Ocean made sure to address the dueling fascinations with wealth and all that it encompasses over two songs. On one end, being born into money is wondrous, so why not indulge in all the privileges that come with the title? The other side is a cynical look at how the riches can sour your life and the people that are in/around it. Placing himself into the center of a written work, experiencing both sides of the same coin would be genius.
SONG: "Bad Religion"
STANDOUT LYRICS: This unrequited love/To me it's nothing but a one-man cult/And cyanide in my styrofoam cup/I can never make him love me/Never make him love me
STORY: The fleeting falsetto and soulful wails of "Bad Religion" strike nerves (recall his Jimmy Fallon performance if you must), permitting most to look past his questionable use of pronouns. He gives us the end of his book; when we want to see where it starts. We pry and prod in real life, hoping he’ll expose the cause of his backseat therapy session. He talks around the source of his love in a few songs ("Forest Gump," "Thinking of You") but not quite about it. Followers of his tale want concrete characters, context and closure.