The Edge’s Top 10 Albums of 2012: #2


Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE

Released 16th July 2012, Mercury Records

Just missing out on the top spot of The Edge’s favourite albums of 2012, Frank Ocean’s first major-label release caused frenzy when it was released in July. The record was preluded by Ocean admitting to having previously had a relationship with a man, showing that in 2012 sexuality did not matter in a genre that is notoriously homophobic. Praised for lyrical content, channel ORANGE became the first album to be rated 10/10 by The Edge.


  • 39% of contributors included the album in their top ten
  • Of those, 50% ranked the album in their top three
  • Ranked the album of the year by two contributors

Chris Wanzala-Ryan, Edge reader (ranked the album #1):

While the rest of R&B was indulging itself in Ibiza-style dance beats and layers of auto-tune, Frank Ocean released the best contemporary R&B record in a generation. Covering themes of unrequited love for another man in ‘Bad Religion’, while creating a Paranoid Android-esque masterpiece in ‘Pyramids’, this album represented a huge step forward for R&B and hip-hop, both creatively and on the attitudes towards homosexuality within the genre.

André Pusey, Edge Online Editor 11-12 (ranked the album #3):

When I decided to check out the debut album from Frank Ocean (a few weeks after everyone else, it seemed), the hype was overbearing. Already people were starting to hail it as the greatest release of the year, and the immensely popular critical response meant it had a near-perfect score on Metacritic. Contemporary songwriting, unique melodies, and simply breathtaking vocal performances, channel ORANGE is one of the most well-balanced collections of modern soul songs you will ever find. Never did I expect such a confident and mature album from a young and mis-labelled artist, with songs like ‘Thinkin’ ‘Bout You’ and ‘Bad Religion’ showing in excess his raw talent, lyrical prowess, and no-holds-barred delivery. channel ORANGE is truly one of the most important albums of our generation, with phenomenal replay value and unrivalled depth.

Other accolades:

  • Ranked #1 on The Guardian’s “Best Albums of 2012” list
  • Ranked #1 on Consequence of Sound’s “Top 50 Albums of 2012” list
  • Ranked #2 on Pitchfork’s “Top 50 Albums of 2012” list


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