Tom Bosher reviews Frank Ocean’s comeback single
As Frank’s fans we are starved by the elusive genius, so when he emerges from his cave of silence and releases, we descend like seagulls on a Pret sandwich – especially when it’s an unexpected delivery.
‘DHL’ is a low-profile track, beginning with an echoey reverb-infested trip down a psychedelic neon-street, aided by luxurious textures and Frank’s classic pitched up and filtered vocals.
Mid-way through the track is where it really hits the mood, a woozy groove that swells in-between a high retro synth and a relaxed swaggering bass. A loose beat follows the instrumental switch, as though the initial half’s drums become submerged under-water. Frank switches rhythms of flow with the woozy sonic psychedelia submerging us even further with the second chorus clearly referring to Frank’s ‘packs’ of pills from DHL.
‘DHL’ is a low-profile track, beginning with an echoey reverb-infested trip down a psychedelic neon-street
Although fitting with general atmosphere, the track plays host to virtually no singing or any soulful samples that we’re used to. Frank’s raps are generally less expressive than his singing throughout his discography and so it’s unsurprising this track continues the trend. An inclusion of an expressive song melody in the first half to complement the dense texture, to then contrast with the low-key virtually emotionless delivery in the second half would have developed the structure more.
However, the song’s focus isn’t on the lyrics themselves which exist essentially as a drug anthem. Whilst lacking an obvious melody with lyrics to enthral, Frank still offers a sound and vibe that envelops you.
The track eludes to a release in the future, both on the cover art and the repetition of a delivery that ‘sound[s] like it’s comin’ soon’.
We can only hope the delivery proves more reliable than most postal systems.