You won't see Frank Ocean on the album cover anywhere. He even credited his dog as the executive producer. As much as Frank tried to not make himself the center of the album, it's impossible to separate the album from the conditions in which it was delivered to us.
First you surprised us by coming out. Now, instead of just trying to digest your music, we're all scrambling to understand you. After all, you can't understand the music without understanding the artist... right? This dynamic adds another variable into the equation of how your album will be judged. Some people may even get lost within it and lose sight of the music itself. But there's no doubt that you felt knowing that part about you was crucial to understanding the album's story.
As beautiful as this album is, it mainly revolves around the painful memory of rejection, and Frank makes it sound stunning. There's no doubt that Channel Orange is going to be met with even more acclaim than nostalgia, ULTRA. I've listened through it almost a dozen times and its impression continues to grow. Not only is Ocean quite possibly the most vocally sound singer that I've ever heard, he's an amazing poetic.
He makes heartbreak sound almost soothing.