Albums to watch

Channel Orange

Frank Ocean

Channel Orange

Major label debut for the New Orleans-born R&B singer and member of the Odd Future hip hop collective

ADM rating[?]


Def Jam
UK Release date
US Release date
  1. 10.0 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    Channel Orange’s scale and scope are impressive to behold. It spans time and distance – from Ancient Egypt to the modern Las Vegas strip (on “Pyramids”), from Ladera Heights (the “black Beverly Hills”) to the temples of India – and for all of its 55 minutes, it’s brilliant
    Read Review

  2. 10.0 |   Daily Telegraph

    Channel Orange is as dazzling as it is baffling, rarely staying still long enough to get a grip on
    Read Review

  3. 10.0 |   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
    Read Review

  4. 10.0 |   The Arts Desk

    Throughout, Ocean and his producers offer an inventive but relatively understated take on contemporary R&B - no mean feat for an album whose centrepiece is a 10-minute shape-shifter called "Pyramids"
    Read Review

  5. 10.0 |   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
    Read Review

  6. 10.0 |   State

    It’s a masterful, dynamic and evocative collection of conversations between his inner-self and the listener
    Read Review

  7. 10.0 |   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
    Read Review

  8. 10.0 |   A.V. Club

    Channel Orange is so arrestingly smooth that all of its unusually shaped pieces fit together as a seamless whole
    Read Review

  9. 10.0 |   The Fly

    In throwing his emotional locker wide open, Frank Ocean has made a tender, engrossing classic
    Read Review

  10. 9.5 |   Pitchfork

    While Channel Orange is stuffed with one-of-a-kind details and characters, its overall scope is grand, as is Ocean's
    Read Review

  11. 9.4 |   The AU Review

    One of those albums you can listen to from start to finish without ever getting bored or frustrated, Channel Orange will go down as one of the best R&B releases of this decade, if not the best
    Read Review

  12. 9.1 |   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
    Read Review

  13. 9.0 |   All Music

    As easy as it is to listen to Ocean's voice in long stretches - he's casually expressive - the number of deep ruminations over slow tempos requires some patience
    Read Review

  14. 9.0 |   Spin

    As a singer, Ocean performs like he has all the time in the world and no idea what to do with it. Some might hear this as numbness, but on channel ORANGE, it comes across as exceptional wisdom and repose
    Read Review

  15. 9.0 |   Clash

    Channel Orange demands to be listened to in a single sitting, its tracks interwoven by the ambient noise of middle America – video games, TV commercials, aeroplanes and car doors
    Read Review

  16. 9.0 |   musicOMH

    As Channel Ocean reaches its end, every emotion associated with it can be traced back to one: fulfilment. And that's how it leaves you – immensely fulfilled
    Read Review

  17. 9.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    These songs don’t sound observed or imagined; they sound lived, and lived-with. That’s the key to Channel Orange; 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
    Read Review

  18. 9.0 |   The Digital Fix

    What perhaps is most striking about this album (and what most people instantly lost sight of) is Ocean’s stunning capability as a storyteller
    Read Review

  19. 9.0 |   Under The Radar

    It stands tall as the best R&B album in a long while, if not the best album in a long while
    Read Review

  20. 9.0 |   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
    Read Review

  21. 9.0 |   Tone Deaf

    An astounding feat. Ocean’s first full-length offering is truly something special
    Read Review

  22. 9.0 |   Slant Magazine

    Channel Orange is so textured, complex, and mature that Ocean's recent coming out feels like a footnote, rather than the entire story. It's a revelation that only further colors the tales of longing and disappointment found on this impressive album
    Read Review

  23. 9.0 |   AU Review

    A staggering album from a staggering talent
    Read Review

  24. 8.7 |   Paste Magazine

    A very beautiful album about not-so-beautiful people
    Read Review

  25. 8.0 |   Sputnik Music (staff)

    With Channel Orange Frank Ocean has proven himself as one of the most significant artists in popular music today; his next effort will definitely have the potential to be a genre classic
    Read Review

  26. 8.0 |   PopMatters

    While it may hard to both live up to hype and craft something distinct in a young career already brimming with excellent releases, channel ORANGE finds Frank Ocean rising to the challenge with a class unlike anyone in music these days
    Read Review

  27. 8.0 |   The Observer

    If the album isn't the break-out commercial success his label is praying for, let's hope it's because Ocean has stayed true to his creative vision and made an expansive, slow-burning classic that repays patience and close attention, and not for any other reason
    Read Review

  28. 8.0 |   Rolling Stone

    There are echoes of soul forbears in Ocean's music – Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Sly Stone, Prince – but his feel for romantic tragedy, unfurling in slow-boiling ballads, links him to an older tradition. He is a torch singer
    Read Review

  29. 8.0 |   Independent on Sunday

    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
    Read Review

  30. 8.0 |   BBC

    There are moments of assured clarity, juxtaposed with flashes of childlike shyness. What remains is a solid collection of pop-soul renderings through which Ocean tries to find himself. We get to watch his maturation, growing pains and all
    Read Review

  31. 8.0 |   Mojo

    R&B prodigy takes us on an epic journey into the self. Print edition only

  32. 8.0 |   Q

    While Ocean's artistic ambition is impressive, it's his haunting candour that really casts a spell. Print edition only

  33. 8.0 |   Uncut

    Sumptuous and sprawling. Print edition only

  34. 7.5 | mag

    With Thinkin‘ Bout You the record has a track that’s plain beautiful and maybe even timeless. Channel Orange as a whole doesn’t achieve that timelessness – three or maybe four tracks are just too weak for that

  35. 7.0 |   No Ripcord

    It’s an exhausting, exhilarating tour de force that’s difficult to surpass and the album undoubtedly loses some steam after the zenith of Pyramids. Actually, it’s fair to say that the last third or so of Channel ORANGE is a little on the dull side
    Read Review

blog comments powered by Disqus

Watch it

Roll over video for more options

Hear it

Preview & download it

Frank Ocean: Channel Orange

  • Download full album for just £5.49
  • 1. Start £0.99
  • 2. Thinkin Bout You £0.99
  • 3. Fertilizer £0.99
  • 4. Sierra Leone £0.99
  • 5. Sweet Life £0.99
  • 6. Not Just Money £0.99
  • 7. Super Rich Kids £0.99
  • 8. Pilot Jones £0.99
  • 9. Crack Rock £0.99
  • 10. Pyramids £0.99
  • 11. Lost £0.99
  • 12. White £0.99
  • 13. Monks £0.99
  • 14. Bad Religion £0.99
  • 15. Pink Matter £0.99
  • 16. Forrest Gump £0.99
  • 17. End £0.99
  • Service provided by 7Digital

Latest Reviews

More reviews