Frank Ocean’s Nikes: the best of this week’s music

The American singer-songwriter drops the most most hyped single of the year, while Craig David cashes in with two new singles


Frank Ocean

With all the woodworking live streams, 45-minute bonus tracks and limited-run fashion magazines that have accompanied the release of Frank Ocean’s new album, it’s easy to see the songs as some kind of afterthought. Nikes, though, is Ocean’s opus, and manages to denounce capitalist materialism and flirt with someone at a party in the same breath. For three minutes it stumbles in and out of pool parties and candlelit vigils without quite knowing where it is, before Frank’s vocal soars through the noise. I only wonder what they must think of it over at the sportswear company. Are they thrilled to share their name with the most hyped single of the year or mortified it undoes decades worth of marketing, with the one line: “Tell these basic bitches we don’t wear Nike”?


Passenger had one of the surprise hits of 2012 with Let Her Go, selling more than 6 million copies and winning an Ivor Novello award. But lightning tends not to strike twice: this sounds like the theme tune from a 90s TV show about a city-slicking family who move to the countryside and find that life isn’t quite as peaceful as they’d expected. “If you get up in the mountains, if you go climbing in the trees,” it coos over a cheery banjo, before listing literally every cliche about the outdoors up to and including feeling “the wind in your hair”. Can you hear that? That’s the keyboard tap of someone adding Let Her Go to a One Hit Wonders playlist.

Craig David ft Hardwell: No Holding Back
Craig David ft Sigala: Ain’t Giving Up

Craig actually has two singles out this week, no doubt aware that fame doesn’t last for ever and you have to try cashing in when you can. And cashing in he is, with two scourge-of-the-Earth tropical house tracks that sound like every other song that’s come out this summer. The Hardwell one is marginally better, beginning with some interesting little UK garage flickers before descending into Ibiza monotony on the chorus; the Sigala one sounds as if it was written to make up the numbers on a Ministry Of Sound compilation.

Michael Bublé 
Nobody But Me

That’s it guys. Summer’s over. It starts with the first Michael Bublé single, then the days begin getting shorter, the John Lewis adverts start up, and before you know it Bublé will be back on our screens, performing this while holding a glass of stage-whiskey on some kind of chintzy ITV special hosted by Bradley Walsh. Merry Christmas!


Sam Wolfson

The GuardianTramp

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