Frank Ocean doesn't do things in the conventional way. Really, it’s a bit of a surprise that the self-made R&B star even held a listening session for his new album in a New York City recording studio yesterday.

Ocean's original plan was just to put out his debut album, Channel Orange, on July 17 without media hype or fanfare—seemingly out of the blue. It's a cool idea—one that worked for his mixtape, Nostalgia, ULTRAbut now that he's signed to Def Jam the stakes are a bit higher this time around. So there he was Thursday afternoon in a red shirt, jeans, and black Vans, shaking hands with journalists who were eager for an Orange listen.

A man of few words, Ocean simply popped open his laptop and said “This is Channel Orange.” He gave no track names or production notes (for the purpose of this preview, we went with educated guesses). Nor did he explain so much as a single lyric. The album interludes sound like TV commercials, so that may explain the "channel" part of the title; as for "orange," maybe it's his favorite color or something.

Nope, Ocean didn't say much at all; just hunched over the studio console and let the rhythms hit 'em. Here’s what Complex thought of them.

Written by Brad Wete (@BradWete)

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