Channel Orange

Common Sense Media says

Intense, poetic R&B has mature themes and content.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Although there are some intense messages about drugs, money, addiction, and prostitution, most of the songs are critical of these vices. Ocean is about hope and survival, and his songs, ultimately, reveal that.

Positive role models

Ocean sings about some heavy topics, but he does so in a way that's honest and hopeful, with music and lyrics that are thoughtful.

Violence

Some themes and imagery about suicide and hurting one's self: "You used to get cut up from time to time."

Sex

Some innuendo and themes about sex and prostitution: "Pyramids" says "I'm bathing your body, touching you places only I know." "Sierra Leone" criticizes the stupidity and consequences (a baby) of unprotected sex.

Language

Bad language doesn't permeate the album, but it's still there: "F--k," "s--t," "n---a."

Consumerism

Debut album features lots of collaborators like John Mayer, Andre 3000, and fellow OFWGKTA member Earl Sweatshirt.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some themes about drugs and addiction, but in a realistic, critical way: "Crack Rock" says, "stealin' and robbin' to get the fixin' that you're itching for...How you feelin' girl? How's the gutter doing?"

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Channel Orange is the debut album from OFWGKTA member Frank Ocean (who garnered lots of press for his revelation that he's bisexual), and has lots of intense, adult themes about drugs, money, addiction, and prostitution, but in an artful and poetic way that's honest, critical, and hopeful. There are some violent themes, sexual images, and profanity, including "f--k" and "n---a." Not for kids, but not your typical R&B or rap album, either.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

After writing for artists like Justin Bieber, Brandy, and John Legend, Frank Ocean releases his first solo album, CHANNEL ORANGE, a lengthy 17 tracks (a few are sound clips) that show Ocean's gift for storytelling and beautiful tenor vocals and falsetto woven around intense themes of love, addiction, and hope. John Mayer, Andre 3000, and Ocean's fellow member from OFWGKTA (Odd Future Wolfgang Kill Them All), Earl Sweatshirt, collaborate on this album.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Channel Orange is exhausting, but in a good way. The young Ocean reveals a soulful R&B sound that often recalls the likes of Lenny Kravitz, Jill Scott, or Corinne Bailey Rae. His vocals are velvety and vulnerable, singing stories that are honest and at times heart-wrenching. He has a critical eye -- like in "Super Rich Kids," about the excess and emptiness of wealth, but he also has a way of putting himself in and out of the songs to make them both sad and hopeful. "Crack Rock" and "Pyramids" have adult themes of drugs and prostitution, but the music and lyrics are spectacular. Most of the album is mellow in true R&B form, but with unexpected turns and sensuously rich music that make this debut album revelatory.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the hype in the media surrounding Frank Ocean and his revelation that he is a bisexual (after rumors began). Do you think it matters what someone does in their private life? Does that determine whether or not you buy their music?

  • Ocean doesn't write typical R&B music. He's a storyteller and observer. Do you think his music is positive or negative? Give specific examples or songs.

  • Why do you think this album has been so critically acclaimed?

Music details

Artist:Frank Ocean
Release date:July 10, 2012
Type:Album
Label:Island Def Jam
Genre:R&B
Parental advisory:Yes
Edited version available:Yes

This review of Channel Orange was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old April 19, 2014
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

AMAZING! Strong and beautiful great for kids who want hip hop and R&B.

has a little bit of drugs and sex but is strong and power full of beauty and voice.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 14 years old Written byJason Ugarte May 31, 2013
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Channel Orange

As a HUGE fan of OFWGKTA, I gotta love Frank. He's so mellow and different from the usual R&B singers. C.O. Includes topics about drugs,Pimps,girls,boys and more. There is alot of iffy content in this album but I STRONGLY recommend this. Amazing tracks include Pyramids, Sweet Life, Thinkin Bout You, Pink Matter, Lost and Every other song. Even the interludes are well done and spectacular. Amazing album. Don't miss it.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Written byAnonymous March 15, 2013
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

Not for anyone 16 & Under.

An R Rated Album. This being one of them.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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