A ten minute hip-hop track may be the last thing you’d expect to see featured here at LessThan3, but this isn’t your ordinary song. Frank Ocean–the mysterious crooner of Odd Future fame–has truly done something special with the first single from his forthcoming Channel Orange album. A daring undertaking for sure, Pyramids is a multi-part opus that channels a variety of electronic subgenres. Excellent production and intelligent lyrics fuse together seamlessly to make what may be my favorite track of the year thus far.
Eerie keys punctuate reversed percussion grooves to start this epic off ominously, as Ocean pines for his stolen queen Cleopatra. His fantastic voice gives way to a funky nu-disco beat and the mood instantly gets uplifting. Rife with Egyptian metaphors, this second act of Pyramids takes us on a reflective journey that meshes perfectly with the optimistic beat. The 4:26 mark brings about a drastic aural shift; spacey arpeggiated chords lead to a trapped-out beat that’ll keep your head bobbing. A guitar solo by John Mayer takes us away in true rock star fashion. After ten minutes of bliss, it’s time to hit replay.