Two weeks after starting a column called This is our Jam, and Frank Ocean’s “Swim Good” may be the first song that qualifies as a ‘jam’, technically speaking. Frank Ocean is part of Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, a crew of skate-rat-rap hooligans known for abrasive minimal beats, casually (ultra) violent lyrics, and slapping a Supreme hat on Jimmy Fallon. On “Swim Good” the acerbic wit shown by Odd Future’s younger, angrier kids is smoothed over. Frank Ocean offers up a smooth R&B grind that brims with heartbreak, but is also imminently familiar and sort of wise-sounding. His album title Nostalgia, Ultra is perfectly justified here by an early ‘90s movie reference (“When I feel like a ghost, no Swayze”) and a vintage 808 beat. The effect is classic R&B that further increases Odd Future’s clout without trying to scare the shit out of the listener.
Frank Ocean—Nostalgia, Ultra
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