Tell Me Why: Frank Ocean

Today’s “Tell Me Why” surrounds one of the biggest breakout artists of 2012. 

Frank Ocean is the 25-year-old singer/songwriter who has turned the heads of basically everyone in the music industry. He has worked alongside Jay-Z and Kanye West, won two Grammy Awards this year and even earned himself a musical guest spot on Saturday Night Live. Once again I found myself surrounded by peers and industry folks praising an artist, but when I took a closer look I was confused. So now I turn to you my music loving community of Buzznet for some help.

Because honestly, Frank Ocean; I don’t get it.

My first exposure to Frank was his performance on the MTV VMAs this past year. He seemed terrified to be on stage and his voice was incredibly weak. He came across as lost and was not living up to the hype that surrounded him. Then I caught him again on SNL; he was a bit more confident but I still found the live performance very boring. His guest guitarist John Mayer was the only part I could remember after watching. Then he performed at the Grammy Awards, and while the special effects were cool, for the thrid time I was not impressed with his live offering.  

After another conversation with Drew Beringer from Absolute Punk (who gave his album a stellar review), I listened to Frank’s 2012 release; channel ORANGE for a solid two days. I will tell you I didn’t care for the song, “Sierra Leona” at all. The singing and then speaking bit was not doing anything for me. However, I did find something to like in the song, “Sweet Life.”* The song was catchy and Ocean’s voice sounds just as the title says, sweet.I agree with Drew that his music is deeply personal and he has poured his soul into his art; and that’s admirable. I suppose I just can’t get past my first experience of seeing him perform live and how turned off I was. This could be a case of too much hype and not enough results. 

I want to like him, so help me. Maybe I am looking (and listening) at all of this the wrong way. You’re all tuned into what’s cool and why you love the music you love. So, tell me why I should like Frank Ocean. #musicrules

* Frank Ocean’s “Sweet Life” lyrics.

Do you like Frank Ocean?

Let’s talk music, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.