Frank Ocean’s Nostalgia/Ultra was released back in February for free on the Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGKTA) tumblr, and has, by many blogs/reviewers, been seen to be the highlight of the up-and-coming rap crew’s output so far. This output has seen the likes of Tyler the Creator go from a skate-rap kid and serial self-promoter to signing for major labels and hanging out with the likes of the Neptunes in the space of just a few short months.
This cut is probably one of the strongest tracks on that album, and the pretty-damn-cool bass line compliments Ocean’s heavily autotuned talky/singy vocals to a great effect, with flickering synths and arpeggios and heavily 70s-y phase guitars adding to what is, by all means, a really good pop song.
However, one thing to note would be the fact that, next to the group’s other material, it seems nowhere near as experimental or ‘different’ to the mainstream. Take Tyler’s Yonkers for instance, which is an unforgiving, brutal slab of stoner wordplay and crushing, repetitive beats. On the other hand, Frank Ocean has none of Tyler’s questionable ethics (pardon the usual rap game objectification of women), which is a bit of a relief.
Overall, a good, laid-back independent piece of r’n’b, which perhaps takes the best aspects of 2000s neo-funk production and reappropriates it for the industry’s current over-indulgence/fetish for autotune.