I recently have been complaining that R&B has been slacking for a long time. While acts like The Weeknd and The-Dream have made breakthroughs through their experimentation with alternative music forms (which validates the post-modernist theory that musical genres are ceasing to exist), I still crave for the good old days of soul, or even the not too distant days of sleek hip-hop beats with soulful vocals over it. Frank Ocean has been surprising me over time, especially since he is associated with Odd Future, a hip-hop collective that is strongly into clashing with and breaking musical barriers. Ocean's "Novacane" was sing-songy but also very non-traditional in its drug references, tongue-in-cheek, and felt Kid Cudi-like (whom I love) and very Odd Future.
Then I heard this:
If genres really are melting away, it is nice to hear Frank Ocean remind us of the vocal stylings and sleek-but-resilient instrumentation that R&B used to, and could still have.