That bristling of excitement you’re sensing across the lands at this very moment? That’s the sheer joy of thousands of fans geeking themselves into a tizzy over not only the Tumblr-premiered official announcement of a new Frank Ocean project on the horizon (the July 17th-due channel Orange, as previewed by a teasingly cryptic clip) and similar-titled 14-date tour run, but the set’s first taste, “Pyramids”.
The track is yet another satisfying dose of the Odd Future crooner’s acclaimed strand of R&B, a sterling two-parter-of-sorts kicked off by a first half that rocks a slick ’80’s synth-funk swing to support a gorgeously evocative tale of a romance gone awry dressed in a rich coating of ancient imagery (lyrical nods involve Cleopatra, Egypt, Samson).
As amazing as that jump-off section is though, it’s the swirly slow-groove (and possibly John Mayer guitar solo-enhanced!!!!) second half of “Pyramids” that truly slays, Frank detouring the setting to his motel suite bedroom to document the sultry seductive wiles of a woman dubbed ‘Cleopatra’ who splits her time making her man feel special (“The way you say my name makes me feel like I’m that nigga/ But I’m still unemployed/ You say it’s big but you take it/ Ride cowgirl”) and bringing in the big bucks “working at the Pyramid” (which could be either a strip club, or the sheets-disguised “tent pole” of a male client).
From the meaning behind Ocean’s mournful delivery and the question marks arisen from his brilliant poetic chops, to the track’s sinuous, retro-futuro Black-pop musicality, there are so many ideas toiling about within “Pyramids”, one can’t help but come away from it feeling a tad bit overwhelmed by it’s creative ambition; still, the bottom line is, this master of the soulful mystique is back, and we can’t wait to be gob-smacked by what other mind-numbing gems he has prepared for us in the coming months.