Album Review: Various/OFWGKTA

2 April 2012 | 9:11 pm | Staff Writer

The OF Tape Vol 2 confirms every prejudice you have about OFWGKTA.

The OF Tape Vol. 2 confirms every prejudice you have about OFWGKTA. You think it's a group of youngsters assembled to fuel Tyler's ego? His presence all over the record lends weight to your argument. You think Frank Ocean's sweet crooning stands over and above all the messy skateboard raps of his colleagues? The evidence is here for you. Whether you're a Wolf Gang lover or not, there are no surprises to be found on Volume 2. It's more of the same.

Real Bitch is textbook bad OFWGKTA. This clumsy, ugly search for a perfect mate is revealing only of the immaturity of Mellowhype and Taco. It's tough to respect or look up to anyone who'd make a song as pathetic as this. That a couple of verses of Real Bitch conclude with the word “swag” is arch irony. On the other hand White is OFWGKTA at its best. Elusive – and hookless – it's Frank Ocean championing the most interesting element of this world-beating crew: how these young men (and one young woman) somehow manage to combine wild ferocity with an utter lack of direction. “I'll forget 23 like I forgot 17 and I'll forget my first love,” laments Frank. “And what of my wild friends? And the times I've had with them? It'll all fade to grey soon.” The Internet also makes a valuable contribution. And Mike G's Forest Green is a star turn.

If you look for the worst – atonal buzzy beats, anger, hatred, misogyny, the now irrelevant chants of “Free Earl!” – you'll find it here. Look for a bunch of talented people at the vanguard of what's new and exciting about music and you'll find that too. This one is yours to love. Or not.