Channel Orange is a debut music studio album started by an American Rhythm and Blues singer cum songwriter Frank Ocean. And it creates a piece of nostalgic unconventional music infused with electro-funk, pop-soul, jazz-funk, and psychedelic styles. This is why Channel Orange is emerging slowly but steadily into the audience who cherish music in its raw forms. Channel Orange album’s top songs involve themes of one-sided love, existential longing, and Ocean’s own love experience “Thinkin Bout You”, “Bad Religion”, and “Forrest Gump”.
Ironically, The Universal Music Group-owned Def Jam Recordings released this album on July 10, 2012, the same record label that once showed inactivity in Ocean’s recording career. After its ignorance and bitter response, Frank Ocean released his debut mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra online in 2011, which gained a critical response from his listeners. Eventually, Ocean and Def decided to mend their relationship and hence released two of its songs as singles in 2012. In this article, we will visit the top ten songs of the album Channel Orange. So let’s have a look!
A pyramid is totally unpredictable song. It is difficult to guess what’s coming next. It moves from the disco-inspired vibes into a piece of rocking music, finally settling to a synth arpeggio. This lets you stay connected to it throughout. It’s a classic centerpiece among the top songs from channel orange.
Set the cheetahs on the loose……… there’s a thief out on the move
Underneath our legion’s view…. They have taken Cleopatra
She’s working at the pyramid tonight
The visuals in the song are drowned in Ancient Egyptian and Biblical imagery divided into first and second halves. The lyrics narrate a ten-minute story establishing a contrast between the life of Queen Cleopatra, and her falling rule in pyramids and the life of a dancer at a strip club named the Pyramid, who works to support her man’s flashy aspirations.
Thinking Bout You
Thinkin Bout You or Thinking About You, is a song that sets the tone of exploring a lost love. With simple yet soothing music, Thinking About You will take you through the emotions in its wavy, hypnotic synth pad.
However, this plain narrative turns into a melancholic tonal shift with the kick of the pre-chorus, and the chord progression. And, these types of fine musical tricks in Frank Ocean’s songwriting add weight to his already miraculous lyrics.
Frank Ocean’s Bad Religion is a song that has an ocean of emotions, mellifluous for the ears of its listeners. It used everything from orchestral music, strings, handclaps, marching band snare drums, and grief-stricken organ chords. Religious battles have been a part of human history, and Bad Religion as a song revisits those emotions.
If it brings me to my knees, It is a bad religion
It’s a, it’s a bad religion, To be in love with someone who could never love you
The lyrics narrate a conversation between a taxi driver and a man confessing his difficult secret love to him.
Taxi driver, I swear I have got three lives, Balanced on my head like a steak knife
I can’t tell you the truth about my disguise and cannnot trust no one
The separation can be felt in the beats, the lyrics, and the chorus that sings along. It’s like a great storytelling song that just punches right in your head. The religions referenced are Christianity and Islam, with an abstract concept of passionate love.
Super Rich Kids ft. Earl Sweatshirt
Super Rich Kids is a sensational masterpiece resulting from the collaboration of Frank Ocean and Earl Sweatshirt, who gave another hit collaboration song, “Sunday later. Super Rich Kids narrates the poetically sumptuous yet complicated lifestyle of super rich kids. Set in the music of the thumping piano inspired by Elton John’s song “Bennie and the Jets, the song delivers rather dry humor.
Too many joy rides in daddy’s Jaguar
Too many white lies and white lines
Super rich kids with nothing but loose ends
Super rich kids with nothing but fake friends
The song stands out as it melancholy blends the two themes of class and love in one song. It can be heard on repeat for evening chillout.
Lost is a good, singalong, catchy pop song. It’s a song that’s rich in upbeat and has a pep element that will let you vibe along with the music created with the strings and the chorus. Lost narrates the story of a perplexed addict and his relationship with his cocaine-cooking girlfriend, who he wants to cook for him as his boss rather than the other drug dealers.
This song is considered the album’s highlight and Frank’s most straightforward “pop” song. It went viral as a social media song at the beginning of 2022 and is used in over 176,000 videos on the TikTok platform.
Crack rock is a jazzy free-spirited song among the top songs from the album orange. Its music is everything. It’s the ninth song in the album Channel Orange which depicts the life of a Crack cocaine addict. He addresses corruption, broken homes, gun violence, and the government’s inactivity toward rising crack-related death cases.
You don’t know how little you matter,
Until you’re all alone
Although the lyrics are kind of dark and have layers, the whole song is worth jamming out. The fleeting multi-tracked harmonies, non-sequitur chorus, and Frank’s frequently fractured breathiness convey an addict’s voice.
The fifth in the album, the sweet song life from Channel orange, is something that has tender sweet piano music, with a unique melody and awesome lyrics. Just like Super Rich Kids, it depicts decadent, rich people who are tied together by money and fears of the financial crisis.
You got a landscaper with a housekeeper since you were born,
The star shine always kept you warm
why see the world when you own a beach?
The lyrics wonder how money and wealth make people insensitive to the problems of the outside world. Frank ironically asks why to see the world while challenging people living in excess to escape their bubble and learn about the struggles less fortunate than them. It’s a song whose vocals are as good as the instruments used in it.
As a thirteenth song, Monks is about finding nirvana and dealing with the topics such as casual sex and devout religion in a narrative that shifts from an exciting concert to a metaphorical jungle.
Frank discusses his journey with a female groupie on one of the tours and compares the residents to the Buddhist monks and their spiritual idol (Dalai Lama).
Pilot Jones is one of the top songs from Channel orange. It depicts a pair experiencing their first love. They become emotionally dependent like drug addicts who confuse friendship with sexual love. Frank often mentions Pilot Jones, who drives or steers and drives the craving lovers toward each other.
This song employs magic realism and escapist imagery. The swooning song contains hazy electronic blips and a melodious chorus as well.
The pink matter is the fifteenth song on the album that uses this term to define the female brain anatomy (just like gray matter that makes up the brain,), desires, and fantasies. OutKast member André 3000, plays guitar in this song of Frank and his friend Malay. This is why the song looks like a single by the theme, but it’s not.
What if the sky & stars are for show And the aliens are watching it live
From the purple matter? Sensei went quiet, then violent, and we sparred until we both grew tired
The narrator portrays the theme of sex and betrayal through this song. He struggles between pleasure and universal meaning, involving philosophy, extraterrestrial life, Japanese mangas, and cotton candy. The lyrics are definitely catchy like “If models are made for modeling, then Thick girls are made for cuddling” which points to Frank’s neutral take on body shaming.
Golden girl is the end song in the album channel orange but it is worth a place in the list of the top songs. With Tyler Okonma, Frank’s Golden girl song proceeds with a couple talking in the mid od rain.
This song has up-tempo synths, a gradual fading tone, and Tyler, The Creator, rapping in a low-pitched voice setting his own perspective on the scenario. Since the song is about a girl providing salvation and peace of mind to the narrator, the song, too, gets quieter with the end.