‘Nostalgia Ultra’ makes me find it perfectly appropriate to tag Frank Ocean as among the emerging champions of contemporary R&B and funk. This is his debut compilation/mixtape released in February 2011. Out of 10, I give it a whopping 8.8 just because I only wished some of the songs had a rap or two.
Nostalgia brings the inherent oomph & soul back into the new R&B arena. Frank croons using his sweet vocals about the entire life of relationships to social issues and even about spirituality. He evokes deep sad emotions, anger, all this not stopping him from showing us his raunchy side. I absolutely love Ocean’s poetic ballads. It’s just inimitable and really deep. 14 tracks, only 9 actual tracks.
2. Strawberry Swing 3.55
Quite a kick-ass start into the album. I love this one,it’s beautiful.He kills his rendition of the Coldplay’s song too hard, I could hardly remember that they ever did that song. Nothing like good music re-done well.
3. Novacane 5.03
Quite upbeat! Novacane is a strong pain-killer. Love the song title, the beats and the storyline. He met a porn star (who had a dream of becoming a dentist) It was the perfect though accidental rendezvous. They share a smoke, she tells him to shut up & not let the high go to waste. He can’t feel shit but the good feeling of loving while numb … Kanye West would love this song. Here is the un-censored vid
4. We all try 2.52
The first Ocean song I heard , fell in love with its spiritual borders. He sings about his belief in men despite the fact that they are wicked. He believes the body is a temple and a woman has the right to choose but he begs her not to abort. He doesn’t believe that the American flag is planted on the moon. Doesn’t that make you think of the first 16 minutes of Transformers 3? All the same, very cool short song.
6. Songs for women 4.13
Quite upbeat! Love this song very muchos. He sings about his lifelong quest of finding out why he started to sing. He admits that he has sung to get at women. One day his girl forgot about him & started blasting “Drake & Trey” songs in her car [Clever line] Now he no longer sings for women because she broke his heart. Rather weird that he would mention Trey & Drake in the song because it sounds like either of them if not Kid Cudi would effortlessly rock this jam. Good stuff.
10. Swim good 4.17
I love this one so much. Hear it and check The Video now! Found several versions of it’s covers on YouTube but I really loved this acoustic one, check it out
11. Dust 2.31
This is the mother of quiet musings. “Who is that talking in my library?”, he asks. He won’t put them out because what would his place of writing books be without the muse? He wishes he could erase some of the pages he wrote but he keeps writing, loving and living as when the ink dries and the pages turn to dust so will we. He couldn’t ask her to stop laughing in his library because it would be nothing special without her smile. When he fell in love with this girl, she left everything for him and in turn set his books in flames. He quit writing but kept living and loving. After all, when the ink dries and the pages turn into dust, so will we…. TOO. DAMN. DEEP.
12.American wedding is a beautiful masterpiece. Check out Yasmin’s cover
14. Nature feels 3.14– modern day -baby making-Jodeci- Silk-Colour Me Bad- song. This one is for nothing but sex.
BONUS: Frank recently came out via a statement in his blog stating that his first love was a man and that that among other people and things in life in deed inspired songs his written for two albums. His debut album Orange Channel will be out in the course of the year. Power to you Ocean, just don’t actually drive into one 🙂
good stuff! Novacane especially.. Belive im getting my own copy of ”Nostalgia, ULTRA” checkout Lyfe Jennings’ – Lyfe Change if you havn’t already 🙂
Its great that R&B is evolving for the better, I’d always lamented that the more melancholy and moody side of it had not been explored enough now guys like The Weeknd and Frank Ocean are really getting it right. I like the concept of the mixtape – chillin’ in the car popping cassettes in the stereo and getting lost in your own thoughts. . .
He doesn’t go wrong with the covers, someone told me that they wanted Strawberry Swing as a wedding song – this cover makes me agree with her more and more. The MGMT cover of Electric Feel was a tad bit hilarious as well…
Favourite track from him still remains We All Try – hope to see a full length album from him soon…
Will, thanks for the comment. Glad you loved it, i knew you would. I think one of Frank Ocean’s strength’s is killing renditions! Yeah i loved the whole chillin’ in the car popping cassettes in the stereo and getting lost in your own thoughts. . . Very journalistic, in the sense of creating a picture out of the audio …
I love “We all try” but in the end am spoilt for choice, i have many favourites, American wedding, swim good, Strawberry strings, Dust … wow hard to choose but i cant even imagine what the album is gonna sound like, especially if he does rap collabos …
Touche. Solid arguments. Keep up the amazing effort.
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