Friday, April 15, 2011

frank ocean - we all try

Frank Ocean is a member of Odd Future, and his new gratis album is Nostalgia, Ultra. (Really, go to his site and download it for yourself.) It's a pretty solid set of songs, but "We All Try" is simply out of this world.

Not since Erykah Badu's visionary "Me" has an R&B/hip-hop song hit me with such a force. Like "Me," "We All Try" is sort of a "state of the union" address, and also like Badu's song it's such a stunner that it gets away with lyrics that I can't always agree with. (For instance: Ocean thinks the moon landing never happened.) But if Badu can shout-out Louis Farrakhan, Ocean ought to be allowed his views as well. That's what great music does: It opens you up to conflicting viewpoints.

I worry that I've made this post preachier than I meant. Bottom line: This is a beautiful song, underlined with lyrics that come from the heart.