THIS IS NOT A DRILL! Sound the new Frank Ocean claxon; shut down the internet, tell your Mum you love her. ‘Chanel‘ premiered on Ocean’s Beats1 radio show, blonded – and given we had to wait four long years between the punchy channel ORANGE and the pristine blonde, this is quite the treat.
Frank impresses immediately within the first four lines of the track; “I see both sides like Chanel” relaying quadruple (yes you read that right QUADRUPLE) meanings within 6 words. Referring to the Chanel logo – consisting of two C’s, his own bisexuality (a trait he apparently shared with the fashionista), witnessing his lovers battle between masculinity and femininity as well as referencing Coco Chanels role ‘seeing both sides’ of the war while working as a Nazi informant, Oceans lyrical brilliance soars.
The instrumental continues the subtly stylistic sweetness that glided so seamlessly beneath Oceans smooth musings on blonde, with interesting and progressive content and context always ensuring he remains head and shoulders above his contemporaries. This aside following the going-independent-at-your-prime mantra, Ocean is really beginning to emulate his idol, Prince.
Ocean’s typically sensitive and sarcastic flow lays high in the mix aside his most openly homosexual lyrics to date. Low-key choppy snares and looping emotive piano chords commend the former Odd Future member’s vocal acrobatics on a heart-belting hook that will be stuck in your head for the foreseeable future after just one listen.
Many are hoping this release means a new full-length project from Ocean is due to come, but I would wager this is a cut that didn’t make it on to blonde that Ocean felt was strong enough to stand alone as a single. And he’s right to think so.
Keep making music Frank.
Written by: George Gould