How much did we enjoy Frank Ocean‘s two songs on the September 15 season premiere of Saturday Night Live? So much that John Mayer‘s involvement in the lovely performances is making us consider giving the guitarist a retroactive pass for all his caddish behavior. Which means, yes, we came away even more impressed than we were after Ocean’s stunning VMA debut a couple weeks ago. But maybe we’re just still hypnotized by Ocean’s “Pyramids” video. So let’s see what the rest of the web had to say.
:: Rolling Stone agreed that Frank outdid his VMA gig, saying “it was indeed beautiful live, with Ocean hitting his stride and the highest of notes during ‘Thinkin Bout You,’ something he wasn’t able to do at this year’s VMAs.”
:: Spin noted that “rather than try to duplicate the album versions on SNL‘s notoriously unforgiving live stage, Ocean offered up yet another change-up…the whole unlikely affair was very much in keeping with Ocean’s rules-defying M.O. so far.”
:: Over at HitFix, the set’s minimalism was applauded. “Given how many artists give frenetic-bordering-on-spastic performances in order to sell themselves to the large ‘SNL’ audience at home, Ocean is content to sit on a stool center stage and let the audience lean in…Ocean’s falsetto is packed with emotion as the song ends. Really strong performance.”
:: Paste felt both performances were “quite stunning…but the star of ‘Pyramids’ was Mayer.”
:: Billboard was short and sweet with its praise: “he floored viewers.”
:: Gawker (via Jalopnik) swooned because “he apparently loves the same video games so many of us adore…We love you Frank Ocean.”
:: Vulture, however, wasn’t too keen on Ocean’s arcade set-up, taking the rare stance that it was too busy. “Between Mayer’s face-pulling and the busy set full of arcade games both competing for attention, Ocean looked a bit drowned out…Tough to blame Frank for ducking out for a bit of Frogger while Mayer hit his solo.”