The wonderful ‘Swim Good’ kicks off our Jenesis playlist this week, and it is difficult to imagine a better pick. Odd Future’s heart and soul, Mr Frank Ocean, has much cause to claim 2011 as his own, such was the impact of his music over the past 12 months. ‘Nostalgia. Ultra’ though not perfect by any means, had enough moments of absolute perfection to merit all the rave reviews it received, while Frank himself grew and grew in confidence and stature. And all the time remaining humble and focused, while also arguably providing one of the great moments on ‘Watch The Throne’ and having his songwriting skills recognized by peers and idols alike. A success by anyone’s standards. Prodigious.
And it looks as though 2012 will see that star continue to rise. OFWGKTA as a collective, and as isolated components are going to cement their relevance and creative brilliance this year. That will help. But Franks also stands alone already, and shows no signs that his initial musical statement was anything like a fluke. His live shows at the tail end of 2011 showed us that new material is strong and flowing, and now there is the snippet of ‘Voodoo’ released that appears to be a classic from the very first listen. We remember another soulful singer making an incredible statement with a piece of work called ‘Voodoo’, the returning hero D’Angelo. But Frank Ocean has claims of his own to greatness. Watch him work his magic.