Sunday 14 April 2013

Whatever Happened To RnB? - Frank Ocean's 'Lost' - New Video

Remember when Debelah Morgan tried to whistle like Mariah and Aleesha Dixon starred in N.E.R.D.s music video? In this weekly feature, I take a look back at some of the best RnB artists of yesteryear, sharing their signature videos and underrated hits, as well as looking at what's happening in RnB today. Previous posts have focussed on the top 5 RnB covers by Youtube sensation VanJess and Jay-Z's Top 5 guest raps, as well as the Honeyz comeback as part of the 'Big Reunion' and a retrospective on Lumidee's career.

I haven't written an RnB post in a while but I've been really inspired recently listening to Frank Ocean's debut album 'Channel Orange', which is a musical tour de force in experimental production and songwriting, with fascinating lyrics that captivate and surprise in equal measure. Much has already been said about this incredible collection of songs, which features standout tracks including 'Pink Matter', 'Thinking Bout You' and 'Bad Religion', but my personal favourite Frank Ocean song has to be 'Lost'. 

'Channel Orange' doesn't immediately hit you but as you continue listening to the album, each track grows on you more and more until you reach the epic halfway point with 'Pyramids', a ten minute long beast of a song that just enthralls with its labyrinthine structure and epic story. How can anything that comes after match the brilliance of 'Pyramids'? 

In a genius move, Ocean follows up the most experimental track on the album with its most commercial. 'Lost' has an addictive hook that draws you in instantly, with a sad, restrained vocal that resonates with weariness. It's story of pain and drug addiction is hypnotising and by the end of the track, Ocean wails in desperation at the love he has lost. 

His vocals have never sounded better yet 'Lost' failed to gain much exposure when it was released at the end of 2012 as a single. Luckily though, Ocean has now released an official promo for the song which sees the singer travelling the world and performing in a range of cities. The variety of locations enhance the tracks sense of dislocation as Ocean wanders around in different foreign countries.

You might not have guessed by now but I'm kind of obsessed with this song. It's easily one of my favourite tracks of the past year and although I do love 'Thinking Bout You', I feel that 'Lost' should have been given some of the same acclaim awards wise. But what do you think of 'Lost'? Is it a highlight on the album or is it one you always skip? What do you think of the new video? And is there much point to the random 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' audio snippets at the end? Let me know by commenting, liking and sharing below to spread some love for Ocean!  

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