It’s increasingly rare to see Frank Ocean in this setting, a top 40 single with a pulsating electronic beat, a song designed more for the dance floor than the bedroom floor (where I’ve done all my Blonde listening, incidentally). But that’s the environment he inhabits with Calvin Harris, Quavo and Offset on “Slide,” Harris’ new blockbuster single. Ocean’s opening pitch-shifted vocals pick up where “Nikes” left off, but the song opens up into one of Ocean’s most assured pop performances yet. Yet throughout “Slide,” Harris doesn’t neutralize Ocean’s singular persona, instead allowing it to inform, anchor the soon-to-be-inescapable hit. “Slide” is effortlessly precise, the rare major label event record that earns its reputation.
Listen to “Slide” via Apple Music.