This Seemed More Like a Hobby Than an Assignment

In Season 3 Episode 15 of the Dissect podcast, host Cole Cuchna dives into a deep analysis of “White Ferrari,” a song by Frank Ocean. He conducts this episode in a formal manner, almost turning his words into poetry at different points in his analysis. One phrase that particularly emphasizes Cuchna’s formal style is when he describes Ocean as using “abrupt splices of indiscernible distorted samples (21:37).” Cuchna clearly wrote a script for this podcast as there are no stutters, filler words, or significant voice inflections—he produces carefully crafted statements instead of saying whatever comes to mind. This formality creates a feeling of order and objectivity in the podcast, contributing to its overall structure.

Cuchna further develops structure in his podcast by analyzing the song in chronological order. He starts at the beginning of the song and progresses through it, playing a couple of lines at a time before analyzing their meaning. Unlike podcasts where the host jumps around the song and talks about his or her general impressions, Cuchna thoroughly analyzes “White Ferrari” line by line. He even compares certain themes in this song to other songs in the album, uniting them with quotes and creating a feeling of closure for the album as a whole.

Lastly, Cuchna breaks the objectivity at the end of the episode as he establishes his ethos. When describing the process of writing songs, he uses the words “as a musician myself” to sympathize with Ocean’s “obsession” about finding the perfect sound to express his feelings (21:50). As the song is about an ending relationship, Cuchna also decides to recount a personal narrative with an ex-girlfriend to emphasize the meaning of Ocean’s lyrics (24:40). Through these two methods, Cuchna increases his ethos while analyzing the song at the same time.

Overall, I enjoyed the episode and thought that Cuchna did a phenomenal job analyzing “White Ferrari.” I found this song a while ago and it actually became one of my favorites due to its ambience and underlying symbolism. As such, I was excited to see that it had its own episode on the Dissect podcast. At first, I was not expecting Cuchna’s formality and thought that it would be more engaging if he framed it as more of an informal conversation. However, by the end of the episode, I labeled his formality as a rhetorical success because he was able to convey so much information to the audience in a structured manner. There was not one moment where I thought that he digressed from analysis, and I greatly appreciated this as a fan wanting to know more about “White Ferrari.”

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