Self-indulgent to the point of annoyance, Frank Ocean’s follow-up to his 2012 breakthrough “Channel Orange” is the sort of impenetrable, solipsistic album made to please absolutely no one, almost like Ocean is punishing his audience for their faith in him. It would take hours to comb through the self-consciously cryptic and often seemingly random lyrics, but there’s little to no impetus to do so, as the music itself is so basic and lightweight that it’s entirely forgettable, with no hooks, melodies or even a general atmosphere established by the album’s sonic landscape. It’s a waste of everyone’s time, and worst of all, it’s a preposterous waste of Ocean’s considerable talent at a time when his follow-up should have built on the strengths of “Channel Orange” instead of eroding his artistic promise.
Rating: ★★ (out of 5)
You can watch the video for “Nikes” here: