July 10th, 2012
12:10 PM ET
The R&B artist has turned around two lauded showings back-to-back, first impressing viewers with a performance of his song "Bad Religion" on NBC's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" Monday night.
He followed with the digital release of his highly anticipated new album, "Channel Orange," around midnight on Tuesday, a week ahead of the record's physical release on July 17.
"Channel Orange" is also streaming on Ocean's website, but that strategy doesn't appear to have paused his success. Amidst the approving early reviews, Billboard notes that it's been suggested a top 10 debut next week could be in the cards.
The New York Times described Ocean's album in a recent profile as being "rife with the sting of unrequited love, both on the receiving and inflicting ends," a theme exemplified in the track Fallon's viewers heard Monday night with Ocean's performance of "Bad Religion."
Ocean, the Times posits, "is an extremely unflashy songwriter, avoiding big proclamations and broad brush strokes, instead leaning on conversational gambits and the power of detail. ... He makes warm, cloudy soul with echoes of Stevie Wonder, Prince and Pharrell Williams that's almost never about seduction."
AllHipHop.com also lavished "Channel Orange" in praise, saying that Ocean has "placed himself above genre borders and identity labels with 'Channel Orange' ... This is not summer time music, nor deep music, nor soul music, nor weird music, nor gay music. This is great music."
For The Fader, "the album feels organic, but not retro - a musical leap forward for both Ocean and the genre."
Have you had the chance to listen to Ocean's "Channel Orange"? What do you think?
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