Why Frank Ocean’s “Nights” Gives You Goosebumps | Genius News

Why Frank Ocean’s “Nights” Gives You Goosebumps | Genius News


DELISA: With his vulnerable lyricism and impressive
production, Frank Ocean has become one of today’s most beloved artists. DELISA: After the release of his last album 2016’s ‘Blonde’, fans keyed in on the
standout track “Nights” and its beatswitch. DELISA: These beat switches have become
synonymous with Frank and have been a part of his music since the beginning – like on
his 2011’s debut mixtape ‘Nostalgia Ultra’ when he flipped Mr. Hudson’s “There Will
Be Tears.” But where does this come from? And is Frank the first to do it? [COLE] As a listener, we go from this melodic
upbeat song // Out of that kind of blossoms this really emotional beat. If you were just to hear that
beat on its own, it would not be as effective as it is. DELISA: That’s Cole Cuchna from Dissect
– a podcast that breaks down one artist’s work each season. And for his third season, Cuchna broke down
‘Blonde’ track by track. DELISA: He explains how the switch is an example
of what he calls Frank’s compositional brilliance. COLE: From the chaos and relentlessness of the
disorting dueling guitars, comes an airy nocturnal beat with subtle reverb drenched piano samples. DELISA: Cuchna likens the beat switch on “Nights”
to “A Day In The Life” by The Beatles, which also uses chaos as a transition. COLE: We get order out of chaos and the understated
beauty of the new musical material is dramatically enhanced by the ugliness that preceded it. DELISA: The harshness in the switch up we
hear on tracks like these results in a theory called musical frisson defined as quote: DELISA: These musical surprises can make the listener physically feel something like chills, goosebumps or even tears. This is because quote: DELISA: This unexpected change is exactly
why Frank’s beat switches resonate so strongly with his fans. DELISA: And back on “Nights,” Frank uses a stuttering guitar riff to transition into
the next part of the track, but the audible swell underneath is what grabs the audience’s
attention. The riff and then the little swell is the brief little BLIP that just kinda very concisely swells to this moment of catharsis which is the beat switch. Without that middle section, the beat switch would not work in my opinion. DELISA: According to Cole, this switch, which
lands at 3:30 on the track, directly splits the album into two 30 minute efforts. Prior to the switch the album’s production
is more bright and laced with romantic themes, like on “Pink + White” and the first half
of “Nights.” DELISA: And on the back half of “Nights”
and songs like “White Ferrari,” ‘Blonde’ becomes a more melancholy view
of love and life. COLE: Oh shit, this is not only a great musical
moment, it is actually this moment of it’s the light switch of the whole entire album
where it changes. DELISA: But we don’t just see the elusive
artist applying this theory on “Nights.” “Pyramids,” off 2012’s ‘channel ORANGE,’
has a similar musical occurrence. DELISA: The first part of the track includes bouncy and glitchy beats…. DELISA: While the second half provides an almost painfully slow and mesmerizing cadence. DELISA: But unlike “Nights,” the descent
on “Pyramids” is more gradual. COLE: So, the interesting thing about “Nights”
and “Pyramids” is that they actually use the same technique to transition from part one
to part two, but the expression of that technique is totally different sonically. DELISA: Rather than splitting the song into
different themes, this beat change gives Frank the opportunity to explore a larger story. COLE: In “Nights” you can argue, it moves from
day to night, “Pyramids” moves from time period to time period. That allows him to tell this really expansive
story about a single character in a really unique and creative way. DELISA: A similar use of a beat switch to
continue a narrative from a different perspective can be seen on Stevie Wonder’s “Ordinary
Pain.” DELISA: Frank is a noted fan of the music
legend, with Ocean covering Stevie’s Talkbox medley cover on 2016’s ‘Blonde.’ FRANK: I found this cover that Stevie did
of a Carpenters song called “Close To You” and it was like I had to sing it and his rendition
made it my favorite song. DELISA: Ocean, Stevie Wonder and the aforementioned
Beatles aren’t the only artists to incorporate beat switches into their music. DELISA: Tracks like Kendrick Lamar’s 2010 cut “m.A.A.d City”… DELISA: Kanye West’s “New Slaves” equipped with an assist from Ocean… DELISA: And “Sicko Mode’s” transitions from Travis to Drake throughout the record. DELISA: Whether it’s moving through moods,
personalities or time, beat switches are a unique way to elevate a story and shock the
listener. DELISA: What’s your favorite beat switch? Let us know in the comments. DELISA: I’m Delisa with Genius News bringing you the meaning and the knowledge behind the
music.

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100 thoughts on “Why Frank Ocean’s “Nights” Gives You Goosebumps | Genius News

  1. Best Beat switches of all time
    1. Nights
    2. Shoota
    3. Tuscan Leather
    4. Karma Police
    5. Oh my dis side

    Black Beatles, Furthest Thing, Look Alive also go incredibly hard

    Those are my favorites what are yours?

  2. Some of my favorite beats switches:

    Soul Food – Logic
    Fighter – Saba
    Get Out – Conor Morin
    New Slaves – Kanye
    GOMD – J Cole
    U – Kendrick

  3. On Blonde I love the way the ending of Futura Free comes in compared to the beginning of the song. Gives me goosebumps everytime he hits the "Menage on my birthday" line.

  4. Nights is a beautiful and mysterious a journey…….also I'm sorry love Channel Orange but Pyramids is the dollar store version of Nights

  5. That switch up on Whit Ferrari towards the end tho … there's a reason every year since 2016 my spotify year in review most played album is Blonde

  6. "Can't keep bein' laid off, Know you need the money if you gon' survive"

    That always motivated me to get to work on time.

  7. I saw this video and thought "Did frank release another song called nights??". Nope, this channel is just super dead. Like jesus what is this video lmao

  8. It doesen't give me goosebumps. Had to listen to the trash song just too see. Also, the beat switch is awful and is a good example of a bad beat switch.

  9. Yeah you should've mentioned "oh my dis side" by travis, where the switch happens so smoothly and the narrative changes completely, best travis track imo

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