Frank Ocean uncoils his repressed creativity in new music station Homer Radio



A candid photo of a normal work day in a bustling city – front cover of Homer Radio

It’s okay that a few 2019 singles are Frank Ocean’s most recent songs. The man behind two cult-classic albums that have dynamic allure and appeals has curated a project, Homer Radio, that continues his signature personality. 

At 10 p.m. EST, the night before his 35th birthday, the first Homer Radio episode was out and released only on Apple Music, announcing it the next day along with new items available from his luxury jewelry brand, Homer. 

Each Homer Radio episode is one hour long, consisting of songs across all the genres and scopes of the music platform—not just a fruitless pop radio mix that plays on the car radio. However, I can promise that nobody can recognize more than four songs per episode, aside from Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” that, appropriately, opened the episode and introduced Ocean’s new concept to the world. 

“9 to 5” didn’t sound the same as the original, nor did another familiar song that played about ten minutes later into the initial listen: it’s because Homer Radio takes all of the songs and applies a mask of mixes to became this cohesive playlist. Producers like Crystallmess helped flavor and mix songs to create a seamless blend of beautiful chaos. 

And if you needed one more reason to switch over to Apple Music, Homer Radio is the absolute ideal reason to end the greatest internet debate of all time. Sorry, Spotify users.

One minute, a song could be in a foreign language, but the next, an electronic instrumental song plays; then, a rap song pierces the peace in an instant: I don’t expect what’s next, and I love and appreciate this project more than I could an album because of it. 

For one hour, I enjoyed not having to worry about what song will play next. Before I knew it, most of the time, the song would change, but the transition was so focused on their unique touches that it stayed connected, adding another layer of Ocean’s excellence. 

A positive to releasing albums is that artists can experiment with them; sure, but it’s limiting because once the songs have been released and are a part of its certain collection, the album becomes its own timeless piece. 

It becomes timeless at a price. For songwriters like Ocean, creativity and expression are the main reasons why music is so attractive and can be influential. For somebody like Ocean, who likes to fly completely under the radar and avoid the media for months or years at a time, releasing album after album isn’t something I would have expected. 

I wasn’t expecting any new releases whatsoever from Ocean for at least a long while, but I’m pleasantly surprised and positively obsessed.

Homer Radio is a blend of everything. What would normally be seen or heard in an office was the ambiance that Ocean had pictured for the entire radio station: it includes a sense of peace and seriousness, whereas his usual style is more gut-wrenching or strictly of his genius creation. 

From episode to episode, the one hour of truly unpopular, “underground”—if you find that funny—songs differ yet share the same unruffled tone, though not one episode has been remotely the same.

To generalize it as an office soundtrack draws the excitement out of the entire project, in my opinion, because it’s much more than background music or the mainstream radio spin on lo-fi study music. It’s everything I want and look for as somebody who is always trying to discover new notes and ideas to immerse myself in.

And, if you needed one more reason to switch over to Apple Music, Homer Radio is the absolute ideal reason to end the greatest internet debate of all time. Sorry, Spotify users.