Frank Ocean’s ‘In My Room’ brings new sound, style


Chris Hoeft, Staff Reporter

Frank Ocean is back with new music that seems to suggest a new direction for the artist’s sound.

The American singer, songwriter and producer has released music sparingly throughout the past decade.

His two most notable works “Channel Orange” and “Blonde” cover themes such as love, lust, adolescent drug use and family ties. Both albums provide lo-fi, jazzy instrumentals with occasional synth waves draped in Oceans dreamy vocals.

Ocean’s most recent single, “In My Room,” retains the same themes of drug use and romance but with a new sound.

Opening up with some punchy synth lines that are reminiscent of Laurie Anderson’s opening vocals on “O Superman.” Some subtle high hats begin to rise and layer the instrumental that plays throughout the whole track.

Bustling drum patterns also enter, grabbing the listener’s attention, though on any other Ocean track would belittle his voice. After more than a year hiatus Ocean has returned with a new flow.

What separates “In My Room” from “Chanel” is the lack of a bridge in the new single, making Oceans verse more in line with traditional rapper Kendrick Lamar.

This is most recognizable around 50 seconds into the song, when Ocean’s verse speeds up. The verse in question speaks on an experience with a girl and feeling used by the people around him.

Perhaps one of the greatest criticisms of the track is that it’s too short, clocking out at two minutes and 13 seconds.

The track does feature a pleasant outro with his signature catchy vocals that keeps the listener on his toes, longing for more.

While the short run time may keep me coming back, it’s also a tool other artists like Lil Nas X use to increase streams. There is no doubt a practice like this produces hits, but in some instances it can detract from the complexity of a song.

Ocean surprises fans with a bold new direction in the form of “In My Room,” keeping listeners engaged with a fast instrumental and addictive streaming.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐