Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
Critic Score
Based on 39 reviews
2012 Ratings: #1 / 1095
Year End Rank: #1
User Score
2012 Ratings: #4
Liked by 264 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
Consequence of Sound
Whether he’s being sarcastic or vulnerable, publicly hedging or lyrically baring it all, his songwriting speaks to the humanity in us all.
100
AllMusic

One listen to Channel Orange makes it obvious that he is as free as an artist as he is as a man. The album doesn't have as many slyly powerful hooks as Nostalgia, Ultra, but Ocean's descriptive and subtle storytelling is taken to a higher level. 

100
A.V. Club

Snubbing nearly every contemporary radio trend, it positions itself instead as the latest in a line of revelatory, late-period neo-soul albums

100
Pretty Much Amazing

Channel Orange’s scale and scope are impressive to behold.

100
The Fly

The album climaxes in romantic deluge; Ocean’s magnificent delivery ensures every tearful story feels true, tangible, relatable. In throwing his emotional locker wide open, Frank Ocean has made a tender, engrossing classic.

100
Time Out London

This album is every bit as boldly conceived, brilliantly executed and irrefutably fresh as the hype has it.

100
The Guardian

In a formulaic era, his production is impressively idiosyncratic, heavy on hazy electronics and cavernous, dubby reverb, and packed with weird touches: the melodies never quite pan out as you expect them to, while the backing shifts and changes unpredicatably.

100
NOW Magazine

Channel Orange is a stunningly ambitious soul album that establishes Ocean as one of the most creative artists in modern popular music. It's simultaneously of the moment and an undeniable classic.

100
The Telegraph

There are enough ideas here for a dozen CDs, sure to inspire plenty of copycat versions of these inventive grooves from other artists trying to follow Ocean’s magical lead.

100
The Arts Desk

He's clearly a natural storyteller and a keen observer anyway ... What makes Channel Orange a great debut is Ocean's ability to match narrative with soundtrack.

100
The Irish Times

It’s a record that takes your breath away – finally, here’s someone with the gumption to take urban music to new and fascinating heights. A brilliant, show-stealing, game-changing affair.

95
Pitchfork

The 24-year-old has quickly proven himself to be among the most gifted singer-songwriters of his generation; he's got the type of voice, wit, charm, smarts, and ineffable humanity that's always hoped for, but never promised.

95
The Young Folks
While this might be Frank’s debut, it feels as if a mature R&B artist put out his fifth album or so, bringing unconventional sounds into the mix, elements of gospel, pop and neo-soul.
94
Billboard

No matter what Ocean's mood is on the album, the songs sound fantastic.

91
Beats Per Minute

Frank’s strengths are his versatile voice, the breadth of his songwriting capabilities, the way he mixes and matches old aesthetics and ends up with strange new combinations

90
The 405

Channel Orange is a superbly forward-thinking piece of work that places Ocean lightyears ahead of his peers.

90
musicOMH

As Channel Ocean reaches its end, every emotion associated with it can be traced back to one: fulfilment. 

90
Under The Radar

No expectation could have prepared listeners for how good this album is.

90
Drowned in Sound

Beyond genre lines, racial lines, sexuality lines, any lines you can think of, it's that all-too-rare gem: a universal story you'll come back to long after the hype's been and gone.

90
Spin

channel ORANGE feels like one long, moonlit, air-conditioned ride. Songs ease from one to the next, flowing together with ambient pieces of distant movie dialogue and the sound of electronics turning on and off.

90
The Line of Best Fit

Every song breathes like an individual fragment of Ocean’s personality and past, coaxed and caressed into life by his stunning voice and considered songwriting.

90
Slant Magazine

Channel Orange is so textured, complex, and mature

90
AllHipHop

Frank Ocean has placed himself above genre borders and identity labels with Channel Orange.

90
Clash

Frank Ocean belongs to a tiny sub-genre of artists who possess the ability to sing in falsetto about a girl smoking crack and still sound like a fucking angel. 

90
The Sydney Morning Herald

This fantastic major-label debut cuts through such distractions. Like a warm, late-night limo cruise, Channel Orange is neon-lit smooth but crawls through seedy areas.

87
Paste

Restraint is key to the execution of Channel Orange, a neo-R&B album that, for all its layered beauty, never overwhelms.

86
Coke Machine Glow

Channel Orange is going to be the standard to beat for some time. And it might very well be the best R&B album of our young decade.

83
Entertainment Weekly

Ocean is less concerned with urban realism than with his own ‘80s-noir fantasy of what the city’s like, and his music captures that vibe perfectly, pulsing with electro-soul grooves, vintage jazz-funk, and Angelino-friendly cameos by John Mayer and Andre 3000.

80
PopMatters

channel ORANGE finds Frank Ocean rising to the challenge with a class unlike anyone in music these days.

80
FACT Magazine

A largely beatific album, it propagates love over high living, but also shipped is the urban locale ... substituted for the same precocious wisdom, emotional intelligence, writerly nuance and reasoned portrayal of lust displayed on the Tumblr post.

80
Tiny Mix Tapes
Ocean's work is almost as good as those he references; his lyrics are almost uniformly terrific, sensual, specific, and unpredictable
80
HipHopDX
The album is a storyteller's album. In fact, it's an immensely inclusive R&B album.
80
Sputnikmusic

With Channel Orange Frank Ocean has proven himself as one of the most significant artists in popular music today.

80
Rolling Stone

When Ocean reins himself in, tucking his words and melodies into tighter verse-chorus structures, the songs have startling force.

80
The Observer

The spaces between the hooks are of no less importance to Ocean, and on Channel Orange he opens them out and lets them breathe. Beats run on after melodies recede, lonely guitars twang away in the margins, soundscapes overlap.

80
The Independent

The dominant sound of Channel Orange is one of "quiet storm" slow jams laid over lo-fi, broken-speaker beats. But it's far from samey.

70
No Ripcord

With a few notable exceptions, Channel ORANGE is solid rather than spellbinding

70
The Needle Drop

After making a splash with his first mixtape, Frank Ocean is killing it in the world of contemporary R&B with this new album.

70
Spectrum Culture

channel ORANGE is a solid but uneven first official release by a gifted singer-songwriter, but it’s not a game-changing album.

jcbal97
80
My rating was initially 70 but then "Pyramids" came up and, damn.
AndreManfre93
95
My God, 600 followers! I am so grateful to each of them... it's been a long way to arrive here, but I hope that users of AOTY appreciate my honesty and fairness in giving ratings (and possibly my kindness towards everybody :) ).

In order to thank you, I would like to share the review of one very special album, "Channel Orange" by Frank Ocean, THE BEST ALBUM OF 2010s in my humble opinion.

The question may arise spontaneously: why Frank Ocean? After all, R&B has experienced other ... read more
Toasterqueen12
100
Im my opinion Channel Orange > Blond. Don't get be wrong, Blond is great. But there's something about Channel Orange. Maybe it's the way it handles so many emotions gracefully. Or how different all the songs sound. But Channel Orange always feels like an emotional journey.

Great for late night cry sessions 100/100!
RakkSmells
88
[Genre: Alternative R&B]

I feel like there's just something that separates Frank Ocean from a lot of R&B artists I've heard. Maybe it's his voice. (It is) Maybe it's the vibrant, fun and amazing production. (It is) Maybe it's because every song on this album slaps. (It is) Every song on this album is sort of its own journey. Their own channel, I guess you can say.

There are several different songs I'd say are some of the best R&B songs of this decade, some just straight up in the ... read more
redbded
100
250 FOLLOWER SPECIAL!!!
10 - MASTERPIECE
REDO REVIEW #7

So we did it boys. Thank you so much for 250, I’m still in shock that this is even where I am at on the site, and I cannot thank you all enough.

Because of this taking place, today, I am going to do a track by track review of one of my favorite R&B albums of all time, Frank Ocean’s Channel ORANGE. It’s no secret that I am a huge Frank Ocean fan, I mean I gave this, Endless, and Blonde tens, so I thought it would ... read more
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Track List

1Start
0:45
76
2Thinkin Bout You
3:20
94
3Fertilizer
0:39
83
4Sierra Leone
2:28
86
5Sweet Life
4:22
92
6Not Just Money
0:59
78
7Super Rich Kids
5:04
93
8Pilot Jones
3:04
87
9Crack Rock
3:44
92
10Pyramids
9:52
98
11Lost
3:54
94
12White
1:16
84
13Monks
3:20
87
14Bad Religion
2:55
93
15Pink Matter
4:28
94
16Forrest Gump
3:14
90
17End
2:14
84
Total Length: 55 minutes
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Added on: June 8, 2012