Frank Ocean's 'Channel Orange' released digitally
NEW ORLEANS, LA (CNN) — Whatever the reaction to Frank Ocean's recent open-hearted reveal that he'd fallen in love with a man in the past, on Tuesday the attention returned (somewhat) to his craft.
The R&B artist has offered two lauded showings back-to-back, first impressing viewers with a performance of his song "Bad Religion" on NBC's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" Monday night.
He followed that with the digital release of his anticipated new album, "Channel Orange," on Tuesday, a week ahead of the record's physical release on July 17, reports Billboard.
The New York Times described Ocean's album in a recent profile as being "rife with the sting of unrequited love, both on the receiving and inflicting ends."
Ocean, the Times posits, "is an extremely unflashy songwriter, avoiding big proclamations and broad brush strokes, instead leaning on conversational gambits and the power of detail. ... He makes warm, cloudy soul with echoes of Stevie Wonder, Prince and Pharrell Williams that's almost never about seduction."
AllHipHop.com also lavished "Channel Orange" with praise, saying that Ocean has "placed himself above genre borders and identity labels with 'Channel Orange' ... This is not summer time music, nor deep music, nor soul music, nor weird music, nor gay music. This is great music."
For The Fader, "the album feels organic, but not retro - a musical leap forward for both Ocean and the genre."