Updated: Feb 16
New Frank Ocean.
Three words that get music-lovers everywhere giddy with excitement.
Just yesterday the ultra-smooth singer/producer dropped a brand new single, DHL. And following on from his dazzling form, it is another incandescent track that proves once again why Ocean a beloved figure in the music scene of the 21st century.
Opening with thick and muted bass and snares underneath dreamy and warped synths, off the bat it feels like a much more muted and reserved Nikes. Yet once Oceans deadpan vocals enter the fray we see a side of Ocean rarely seen. Delivering lines in the most lowkey of manners with little flare or drive, it’s incredibly soothing especially when Ocean shakes up the melody within the chorus of “got a pack came from the DHL”.
A beat change-up just before the midpoint of the track slows the pace even more. Ocean is at this point breathing lyrics, “Boy toy ride me like an uber”, over the most filtered of beats, a driving synth keeping constant over the vox and beat. The song never takes it up a notch, yet the subtle grooves and vibes keep you guessing and wanting more.
It isn’t until the final moments of DHL does Ocean commit to his vocals, “independent jugs, selling records out the trunk.” and within a moment he’s finished.
DHL doesn’t feel like a lead single to what is hinted to be a new album, yet like all Frank Ocean songs; it leaves you wanting more, but giving you just enough to be satisfied for now. Frank’s minimal use of vocals and bass may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the manner in which it is delivered is gorgeous - becoming increasingly enjoyable upon each new listen.
Whilst DHL isn’t up there with Frank’s best, it is a beautiful display of slow-burning hip/hop that you will see many adopt in the future, yet never quite pull it off with the same level of style.