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Matson on Music

Music news, concert reviews, analysis and opinion by music writer Andrew Matson.

September 18, 2012 at 8:34 AM

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Summer of Frank Ocean: 'Lost'

Frank Ocean's "Channel Orange" is the summer album of 2012 — a low-key stroke of genius from the Los Angeles-via-New Orleans R&B singer-songwriter, making headlines for bringing man/man romance into pop R&B. But it's deeper than that. I'm blogging about each song individually, in order. Sorry but Internet Explorer does not support the full album stream below.

"Lost" is buried on the second half of "Channel Orange," a light, peppy song about a woman who gets caught in the fast life of sex, drugs and international travel, and becomes lost in the process. Tale as old as time. From the lyrics, it would seem the person Frank Ocean is singing about is a drug mule. But a fancy one. If you look at it one way, "Channel Orange" is all about servitude and slavery: to upper class values ("Sweet Life"), sexist norms ("Pyramids") and drugs "(Crack Rock"). Drugs is the big one. Perhaps Ocean knows substances? You can see "Lost" as the end of a triptych, with "Pilot Jones" sympathizing with the dealer, "Crack Rock" humanizing the addict and "Lost" crying for the right hand woman of a trafficker. Maybe on Ocean's next album we'll get a song about recovery.

Summer of Frank Ocean: "Thinkin Bout You"
Summer of Frank Ocean: "Fertilizer"
Summer of Frank Ocean: "Sierra Leone"
Summer of Frank Ocean: "Sweet Life"
Summer of Frank Ocean: "Super Rich Kids (feat. Earl Sweatshirt)"

Summer of Frank Ocean: "Pilot Jones"
Summer of Frank Ocean: "Crack Rock"
Summer of Frank Ocean: "Pyramids"

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