Ten Things Holding Up Frank Ocean’s Album Boys Don’t Cry
For most working musicians, a four-year gap in discography would signify one, or more, of the following: comprehensive creative blockage, disinterest in making music, an outrageous, costly-to-produce album (The Beach Boys’ Smile), emotional difficulties or substance abuse (The Beach Boys’ Smile), and a decline in popular and/or critical interest (…The Beach Boys’ Smile).
Frank Ocean—whose last album, Channel Orange, released in July 2012—is rapidly approaching this arbitrary, possibly portentous, marker.
But there’s hope for fans of the crooner, who’s claimed to be influenced by the angel-eyed surf-pop of the Beach Boys: this week, an enterprising photographer posted video on Instagram of a supposed superduper-top-secret-VIP-only listening party for Ocean’s new album, Boys Don’t Cry.
The singer’s reclusiveness has allowed rampant speculation, but aside from muffled sounds recorded through a door, no news has been forthcoming.
Until now. Green Label is letting you in on information the mainstream (more like LAMEstream) media would kill for. Here’s what Frank Ocean’s been doing instead of recording an album.
1.Scrolling through Tumblr and Instagram, looking for photos of an orange car to put on the cover. He’s found three that he likes: a Ferrari Testarossa, a Lamborghini Miura, and a Geo Metro. He’s leaning toward the Metro, reportedly.
2. Building a 1:1 scale model of the pyramids at Giza. He’s blown his budget on unionized masons, and has gone into depths of personal debt Kanye West cannot even begin to fathom. Ocean’s pyramid is set to include a recording studio, a swimming pool to rival Hearst Castle’s, a five-car garage, and the actual, mummified remains of his career. The project is expected to be completed in 2021.
3. Booking performances to cancel at a later date.
4. Assembling instrumental field recordings from some of the world’s most remote regions in a process beset by misfortune. In Melanesia, he was mistakenly hit in the thigh by a misfired arrow; in Agadez, he had his foot stepped on by a horse. On Easter Island, he simply forgot to turn his recording device on.
5. Listening, and relistening, to every single one of The Eagles’ albums and solo projects in search of more material. He’s settled on sampling a few lesser known album cuts, like “Take It Easy,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” and Joe Walsh’s “Life’s Been Good.”
6. Signing contracts to endorse products, the terms of which he has no intention of fulfilling. Don’t expect that Frank Ocean Lipitor ad in your copy of Golf Digest any time soon.
7. Undertaking an intensive study of leftist theory for the follow-up to “Super Rich Kids.” He’s finding himself torn between Keynes and Marx, heartened by Gramsci, and utterly puzzled by Derrida.
8. Fighting the California Coastal Commission over an easement on his Malibu property that leads from the Pacific Coast Highway to the beach. If it’s granted, he’ll kick sand in each and every beachgoer’s food and call them “dorks.”
9.Spent five months on hold with Time-Warner Cable in an attempt to get them to cancel the Australian sports package he mistakenly ordered while on tour Down Under. In that time he’s been able to watch two entire cricket matches.
10.Trying to remember which band originally recorded “Boys Don’t Cry.” Was it The Smiths, The Cure, or did Hilary Swank do it for that movie… what’s it called? Oh yeah, “The Next Karate Kid.”
Image: Frank Ocean Italy