There's no way to get around it; last week, Frank Ocean told a story, in a very unassuming way, that his first love was a man - that doesn't just happen in R&B. With that little pronoun "he" Ocean managed to set the industry ablaze right before the early release of his highly anticipated debut studio album, Channel Orange. And while this is not the first time the singer/songwriter has set the industry on fire (reference 2011 as his year), fans and industry alike would not take Ocean seriously if the music did not do the same thing. Luckily for listeners, Channel Orange shines. Channel Orange has all the trappings of a standard R&B album - mesmerizing songwriting, confident vocals, and smooth production - except that it's not; the album is more conceptual than solely highlighting the songwriting he is most known for. The tracks are strung together with TV and movie based interludes that serve as lead points for his haunting meditations on life such as the meaning of happiness (Not Just Money). The jingle-esque "Fertilizer" is as poppy as it gets on the album and even that is 70s influenced pop. "Thinking Bout You" - and Ocean's falsetto - is still as good as the first time considering you've probably heard it since last year by both Ocean and Roc Nation artist Bridgett Kelly. Instead of syrupy love songs, Ocean's longing for love is overwhelming and evocative on "Bad Religion" where Ocean asks an anonymous taxi driver to outrun the demons of unrequited love. Ocean is brilliant on "Pyramids" going from melodic electronica to space-age boomin' while juxtaposing the pharaoh Cleopatra with an exotic dancer - each is equally intriguing. The nearly ten minute track serves as an enduring score for the album. André 3000 gives listeners a sample of his excellent wordplay on "Pink Matter" where the subject matter is sensuality and so is the funky production. Channel Orange is unexpected in that Ocean has an awareness that readily sets him apart from his industry peers. On "Super Rich Kids" (featuring Odd Future's Earl Sweatshirt) Ocean points out the flaws of materialism and excess of young people with money while lending sounds similar to Elton John's Bennie and the Jets. Over on "Sweet Life", Ocean evokes a young Stevie Wonder over breezy production by Pharrell Williams where he takes on the social consciousness of the rich asking rhetorically "why see the world? /when you got the beach?". On Channel Orange, Ocean is continually probing the meaning of life and love in the situations that are rarely pondered in the genre he will be most closely connected with - R&B. For us, pondering about Ocean's sexuality is white noise compared to the clear picture of this good music. Ocean said it best - Enjoy.