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Frank Ocean covers Radiohead live at Spotify press conference

I got to be honest; I’ve never been much of a Radiohead fan (I know, I know. Sometimes it’s like I’m not even living on the same planet as these other music journalists). But this Frank Ocean cover of the group’s song “Fake Plastic Trees”–performed live at last week’s Spotify press conference–makes their particular brand of valium chic feel almost soulful and sh*t. Kind of underscores the fact that underneath Ocean’s obvious Prince influence, one of the major secret weapons in his musical arsenal is the fact that he has resurrected the soaring synth-ballad of the 1980s. You know what I’m talking about; the Phil Collins shit. The Sinead O’Connor shit. The Top Gun “Take My Breath Away” shit. You can really hear the essence of it in the way Ocean recreates the more acoustic 90s-era ambience of the Radiohead version. But historical context aside–and however you feel about the ‘Head–“Fake Plastic Trees” makes a pretty amazing intro to Frank’s own “Voodoo.” Of course, the cameraphone battery of the industry insider who shot this clip died right when the drums come in. Of course it did. Or maybe he/she just didn’t care about anything but the Radiohead part.

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