Cat Cohen's Anatomy of a Hit a Hit in 2012

Thinkin Bout You by Frank Ocean

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A unabashedly romantic sweet soul ballad about the tender vulnerable feelings of young love.

Song: Thinkin Bout You
Artist: Frank Ocean
Album: Channel Orange
Songwriter: Frank Ocean
Producer: Shea Taylor
B008CJ0KI8

Concept
The singer pours out heartfelt emotions to his new partner with all the innocence of young romance, hoping that these feelings will be requited.

Lyric
VERSE A tornado flew around my room before you came
 Excuse the mess it made, it usually doesn't rain
 In Southern California, much like Arizona
 My eyes don't shed tears, but boy, they pour when CHORUS I'm thinking 'bout you (Ooh no, no, no)
 I've been thinking 'bout you (You know, know, know)
 I've been thinking 'bout you
 Do you think about me still? Do ya, do ya? POST-HOOK Or do you not think so far ahead? Cause I been thinking 'bout forever, ooh
 Or do you not think so far ahead?
 Cause I been thinking 'bout forever, ooh

Groove
A subtle sparse 16th groove that gives a steady but subtle push underneath the haunting rhythmic melody

Melody
Three distinct melodic sections, the first two in Ocean’s lower masculine voice, and the third section in his falsetto.

Harmony
A sophisticated mixture of seventh chords and triads based mostly on the substitute diatonic chords of the major scale in a very neo-soul style reminiscent of Philly soul recordings. Verse IVmaj7 ii7 iii7 vi7 IVmaj7 iii #vi dim7 ii7 Chorus IVmaj7 V7 iii7 VI7 IVmaj7 iii7 #vi dim7 ii7 Bridge ii7 I V vi7 ii7 I V vi7

Structure
A B C A B C D C Verse Chorus Post-Hook Verse Chorus Post-Hook Bridge Chorus

Signature
Floating keyboard 7th chords.

Production
The instrumental backgrounds are soft, subtle and pastel to perfectly complement the ephemeral quality of the vocal.

Performance
Ocean delivers this sincere romantic ballad expression with the kind of soft, sweet yet intense heart and soul in the tradition of the R&B recordings of a generation or two ago. There is more than a twinge of bittersweet emotion in his plea for this relationship to last.

Predicted Longevity
Much like Taylor Swift has brought a sweet innocence to country music, Frank Ocean returns a fresh quality to today’s R&B. While not suited to everyone’s taste, those who enjoy sweet soul will keep this song on the airwaves for years.

Album Cover: Channel Orange

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