Boys don’t cry, but they might have this week.
Frank Ocean, R&B singer and member of the Odd Future collective, took to Tumblr this week to announce an upcoming third album.
This would already be great news, but the details that come with the announcement really tell the whole tale. “I got two versions. I got twoooo versions. #ISSUE1 #ALBUM3 #JULY2015 #BOYSDONTCRY,” writes the singer, though you can almost hear him croon the words.
That’s right. Frank Ocean has announced that he will release a new album and a new magazine in July 2015. (That’s a mere two+ months away.) The latter will likely include some things about music, if only because it is the creation of a singer, but those familiar with Ocean’s music understand that the magazine will be about many bigger and better things. It’s likely to discuss race, identity and sexuality, if only because that’s what his music has always been about.
Speaking of, the former, this yet-untitled album, will be the long-awaited follow-up to the critically acclaimed Channel Orange. Ocean’s debut studio album, which came on the heels of the singer sharing the story of his first love on Tumblr, established the artist as one of the brightest and most gifted new voices in a genre of R&B/hip-hop that, honestly, does need them. On Channel Orange, Ocean was candid and upfront about the insecurities in his life, both in the broader sense and regarding his sexuality. The singer’s mind is restless and over the album’s 17 songs, it moves from one topic to another, from spirituality to addiction and privilege. He’s restless but because he’s such a gifted storyteller, the album still has cohesion and feels wholesome.
Frank Ocean has inner demons the same way that every last one of us have inner demons and on Channel Orange, he constantly converses with them. Nowhere is it more obvious, perhaps, than the album’s stellar and heartbreaking ‘Bad Religion,’ where a distraught Ocean confesses to a taxi driver that he is living through a doomed love affair.
In this new album, Ocean will likely tackle many of the same issues he so expertly explored in his previous two albums. I don’t believe that he will rap, but only because that’s not what he does—not because he’s not good at it.
Until July, let’s all listen to the man again and again. Remember, this is the artist who takes a song like ‘Thinkin Bout You’ and makes it better when he performs it live.