Christopher Edwin Bro, better known as Frank Ocean, is a rapper, singer and record producer who started his solo career in 2012, previously worked as a ghostwriter and co-writer. His debut R&B contemporary album, Channel Orange, received positive ratings and reviews, was named the best album of the year by American and international publications, and in 2013, Ocean won the Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album – and this not counting the numerous nominations of the same Grammy Award and others. Critics paid special attention to the single from the Thinkin Bout You album.
This track was originally one of those that Frank wrote for other artists as a ghostwriter. In 2011, Bridget Kelly approached the future artist with a request to write a song for the upcoming first album. Thinking About Forever was included in Kelly’s Every Girl album, while Christopher kept a demo version, which he posted on a Tumblr blog at some point, but later deleted. According to the artist, he decided to release his version of the song because it remained quite personal for him. However, the single and album versions are different – the album version had a string part added during re-recording and re-producing.
As already mentioned, critics especially singled out this track, noting the talent of the artist, the beauty of performance and, of course, the text. A love song, obviously, but it has metaphors and allusions that give the song complexity and depth. First verse: “A tornado went through the room before you came, sorry for the mess, it usually doesn’t rain in Southern California, unlike Arizona, my eyes don’t shed tears, but, boy, they do” – can be interpreted in different ways, tornado – either an allusion to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, where a destructive natural phenomenon claimed the main character, or a reference to the biography of Frank himself, who moved from New Orleans to California, Hurricane Katrina ruined his property and forced him to move.
In both versions, the following is clear: love is new for the hero (this will be directly stated later in the lyrics of the song), sudden, makes you worry and cry, although where the author is now, everything is fine, “it doesn’t rain”. Hook (instead of chorus): “I’m thinking about you. Are you looking into the distance? Because I always thought about you ”: the lyrical hero hopes not just for reciprocity here and now, he wants a long relationship for life. “I don’t like you… since you think I don’t love you… I just thought you were cool to get to know you… you’re cute, so I decided to kiss you” – in the second verse there is a contrast with the openness of feelings in the first.
The lines about the beach house in Idaho (and in this state there is no access to the sea) and the fighter jet on which the hero lies instead of flying hint at the hero’s fear: he is ready to take back the words if love turns out to be one-sided, he is ready to call according to the degree of sincerity, the confession of how confused love brings him, with those jokes about a non-existent house and an exterminator. It is easier for the hero to laugh it off than to express his feelings directly, so he says “I think about you, I always thought about you.”
The hook after the second verse, however, clarifies everything: “Yes, of course, I remember how you feel, you know, you were my first, new feeling” – a song about the very first love, hence the hero’s fears, doubt and indecision. He seems to be afraid to explain his own experiences, so he talks about thoughts and actions after the fact, how he thought about his love, how he suddenly cried, how he thought that the object of his love was pretty. “It will never get old in my soul and memory, it will live forever. We will go through this road until it turns from yellow to black and white ”- the hero does not need to express feelings anymore, he experienced them so much that they have long been deposited in the heart and it is easier to think about them. He still wants and is ready to go with his love all his life, the road is perhaps another allusion to the “Wizard …”, since in the film adaptation of the fairy tale, the colors gradually disappeared from the screen as Dorothy moved from the magical world to the real world. The hero is serious and wants to spend his whole life with his beloved, he will not leave when the passion ends, but will continue to love – but only if his feelings are mutual.