The release of Channel Orange in 2012 seemed to mark the introduction of a new epoch in not only in the R&B music community, but it seemed as though Frank Ocean’s debut album was ready to push R&B even further into the masses. Rihanna and Alicia Keys were the genre’s biggest female stars, but the R&B needed a male figure to show men did could be emotionally vulnerable.
Channel Orange did just that four years ago. It brought along a bright, young star named Frank Ocean, who was formerly a part of hip-hop oddball collective Odd Future, but had separated from them slightly before his album dropped. He was 24-years-old at the time he released the new-age R&B classic. He is now 28, and we have only just started to hear from him again.
He made his return from the shadows when Kanye West had the singer featured on his new album, The Life Of Pablo, but other than that, there had been nothing to come from him since Channel Orange. The Long Beach, California-born star had long been teasing a new project, and after countless false rumors regarding its release date, music fans can now both breathe a sigh of relief and get as excited as they want. Boys Don’t Cry is almost here.
According to The New York Times, the new project is being released on Friday, August 5. If the well-respected newspaper is wrong, the world might just implode. If they are right, then the world will flood not from the polar ice caps melting, but from the tears of music fans’ eyes across the world. Basically, tears are a guarantee when one hears the sweet, soothing voice of Ocean singing such sad lyrics.
But what should we expect? Well, if it took four years for an artist of his caliber to complete, it should be one of the greatest R&B albums ever. I would not say that completing such a feat is beyond the skill of the 28-year-old, but fans should try as hard as possible to manage their expectations, no matter how hard that may be. Personally, I would expect it to end up as the R&B album of the year, and maybe even of the next five years. Sure, that is a ton of hype for it, but with the talent and time he had to create Boys Don’t Cry, it has got to be pretty amazing.
Additionally, one could expect a couple features from his close friends and maybe a legendary artist or two, like he had on his debut album. His only features on that were from John Mayer, Outkast’s André 3000, and Odd Future members Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler, the Creator.
Naturally, he may go a totally different direction from his last album, like Kid Cudi has done over the course of his bizarre musical career. I mean, we have not heard from the man for almost four years, so it is totally possible that Boys Don’t Cry will be done in a style that is the polar opposite to Channel Orange. But the only thing we do know is that the album is by Frank Ocean, and his music has never disappointed in the past.