Normally, it would seem like a strange choice for an R&B artist’s new single to be a 10-minute epic that references Cleopatra before breaking into slinky Egyptian Lover-esque electro-funk. Then again, most people aren’t Frank Ocean, and "Pyramids" is no ordinary pop song. Like past stories featuring down-on-their luck protagonists, Frank Ocean sees glitz and glamour as a thin veneer under which darker and sadder happenings threaten to break through. We soon learn Cleopatra is a stripper, rather than the Egyptian princess, and that Frank Ocean’s protagonist is a sad-sack whose "Whip ain’t got no gas tank / But it still got wood grain." "Pyramids" becomes a Las Vegas noir lit by grubby neon, the type of place where a sleazy yacht-rock outro sounds more desolate than cheesy. If there’s a Raymond Chandler of R&B, Frank Ocean has got to be him.
Frank Ocean—Channel Orange
All music is for sampling purposes only. Please go out and buy the artists' records. If you would like for us to remove a track, please email us at email@example.com.