Over the past few months, Odd Future’s premier singer-songwriter, Frank Ocean, has been winning over fans with his superstar collaborations, including work with Jay-Z, Kanye West and Beyoncé, and his own odd, reflective and hippie-like R&B debut, Nostalgia, Ultra. And with the release of his latest videos, the album cut, “Swim Good,” and the free-floating track, “Thinking About You,” the up-and-coming singer proves why he’s one to watch for.
In “Thinking About You,” which was helmed by Los Angeles based production company High5Collective, who directed Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild” clip, Ocean takes a walk on the bizarre side as he presents a timeless and magical love story. Relegating himself to a supporting character (a present day nurse caring for a sick female patient), fans watch as the video transports them back to the distant past to witness a man’s abstract night journey, involving a magical shooting star and a Native American ceremony, as he works to save his dying lover. As the video wraps in the present day, audiences see the two reincarnated lovers start their journey together all over again.
In the second clip, “Swim Good,” directed by NABIL, the Odd Future crooner finally makes himself the center of attention, casting himself as a modern, sneaker-wearing samurai. As he rides around in a Town Car limousine, Ocean travels the California coast as well as the scenic woods in search of a woman and apparently something bigger than himself. And by the time his search ends with the slaying of his helpless female victim and the destruction of his cantaloupe-colored ride, both the audience and Ocean are left to reflect upon his strange journey to, ironically, the ocean.
Clearly setting himself apart from his fellow R&B contemporaries, Ocean seems compelled to take R&B into a new direction, both sonically and visually. And though his intentions, as well as his videos, may seem strange, they’re clearly nothing short of a stunning preview of a very captivating and truly odd future for the singer. – nicholas robinson