There’s still no news on when Frank Ocean will release his next album, but this weekend the R&B singer gave fans a reminder of his immense talents, releasing on his Tumblr a cover of “At Your Best (You Are Love),” a track originally done by The Isley Brothers and later covered by Aaliyah, in honor of what would’ve been Aaliyah’s 36th birthday.
“At Your Best (You Are Love)”
While Aaliyah improved upon the Isleys’ bedroom jam with her beautiful, soulful vocals and a more contemporary instrumental accompaniment, Ocean takes the song in another direction. The Princess of R&B is soft, seductive and inviting; Ocean sounds heartbroken and isolated, accompanied only by his keyboard and the haunting echoes of his own voice. Though lonelier and more closed-off, Ocean’s take on the song is just as powerful as its other versions. His voice hits notes even higher than Aaliyah’s, his words sounding like unconscious emissions of his most personal inner thoughts. The sparse arrangement recalls Kanye West’s recent “Only One,” and this pleasantly surprising release from Ocean will vault him right back up with Kanye on everyone’s “Most Anticipated Albums of 2015” lists.