Wednesday 2 January 2013


Staring at the forefront of every new year, we all share the same tendency to see the idea of a fresh start as appealing as untouched snow is to the excitable child. Moreover, those New Years resolutions we so determinedly bind ourselves to are usually crumbling beneath their feet by mid january. So what is the solution? For the majority of the previous month I have been at a crossroads, what shall be next years failure? And then it struck me, with a rather dramatic thud to my thigh I promised myself that I would make a list, I will make a list to ensure that I tick off not just simply one thing in which I set myself indeed to high to realistically aspire to, but many small things in which will carve a rather happier me in the coming months. Nonsense! I hear you cry, it is normal to create a list to introduce the new year, it certainly is, but not for myself, I believe this in itself highlights a quiet change in my thought process.

I return to my neglected blog to make another list, one that is agreeably just as important as the previously mentioned agenda. I have culminated my own personal collection of albums released in 2012 in which have evoked and indulged such an emotional change in myself, and agreeably, listeners alike, as well as, presumably, the artists themselves. I present you this list in no particular order, and one post at a time, that way it allows any indulgent readers the chance to fully appreciate each album as you please...

Frank Ocean - Channel Orange

If you have read my previous posts, you will know that I am a fan of rap collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, A member of said group, Frank Ocean released his debut album in July 2012, along with a bit of a bombshell. Ocean swam against the tide and unveiled questions surrounding his sexuality with a letter uploaded onto his Tumblr on 4th July. This letter described his first love, an unrequited tale of his 19 year old self falling for another young man, these struggles are dealt with in Channel Orange, where he "wrote to keep myself busy and sane. I wanted to create worlds that were rosier than mine. I tried to channel overwhelming emotions". With tracks such as Thinkin Bout You, Pilot Jones, Pyramids and Lost a high velocity of heartache and emotional struggle is evident, but if there is one thing we can all connect about, it is Love and Heartache. We all have our first love; those never ending pangs of nostalgic pain and the unbearable what if's. This is what Ocean acknowledges, he admirably takes the bullet for closeted hip hop/R&B artists, and shows them how to not be afraid to admit their sexuality. The biggest inspiration is love, and the affect of such, and Channel Orange harbours not only those first feelings of untainted adoration, but the realisation of actuality, the dream world in which you create to deal with it, and the after effects. This album is simply put, a masterpiece, Oceans silky voice telling a mesmerising tale of his struggles, naked and raw, tattooed upon deliciously sophisticated layers of emotional heartbeats. The musical compositions of Ocean's album is un-convential to a typical R&B style, with elements of Jazz, Electro-Funk, and Psychodelia, it is a tasty contour of many different styles, polished incredibly, into almost too great of a debut. Pyramids is my stand out track, with the song split into two separate parts, morphed dreamily with a shower of sparkling synths, sensual repetition, and a striking drum beat, trumpets stretching heartily upon the mystical echoes. No wonder this album was named album of the year by The Guardian, Billboard, Now, and many more, this album draws you in, strips you of your shield, tends to every strand of heartache, and kisses your scars better.

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