HMV's poll of polls reveals Frank Oceans 'Channel Orange' as music critics 'Album Of The Year' for 2012
The votes are in and counted, and HMV can reveal that the best album of 2012 according to the nation's music critics is Channel Orange by US R'n'B and Hip Hop Star Frank Ocean. See Notes to Editors for top-50.
Now in its twelfth year, each December, when music writers traditionally nominate their albums of the year, music & entertainment retailer HMV compiles its Poll of Polls - a definitive list of the year's most acclaimed releases. HMV does this by collating, aggregating and weighting the various nominations published across some thirty music titles, national press and online sites (see Notes to Editors).
Hailing from New Orleans, 25-year old Frank Ocean has had a stellar year. His debut album Channel Orange recently picked up six nominations for the 2013 Grammys, while the American singer-songwriter has also just been voted mtv Man of the Year for 2012. Part of Ocean's appeal and significance as a creative force is that as an openly gay artist he has done much to challenge stereotyping within the Hip Hop and R'n'B community.
Channel Orange was released on the Def Jam label in July of this year to considerable acclaim, and has gone on to score an impressive 22 nominations in total among critics. Five publications have voted it their album of the year, including The Guardian, the Evening Standard and Music Week, and a further seventeen, including the likes of Mojo, NME, The Fly, The Times, the BBC, and Rolling Stone have it featured in their top 5 - giving the record very broad-based support across the whole media. >
HMV Music Manager, John Hirst, comments: " It's no surprise that Frank Ocean has come so high up in many critics' top-tens - he's hugely talented and his names been on a lot of people's lips for a few years now. There's a certain Stevie Wonder quality about him, and aside from having released a truly wonderful debut album, Frank has also earned a great deal of credit in the way he has challenged Hip Hop stereotypes. I think we're going to hear a lot more from him in future."
Second spot in the hmv poll is claimed by Jack White's Blunderbuss, which within its 15 nominations was voted album of the year by Mojo, Digital Spy and The Sun's Something for the Weekend. In third position are the psychedelic Rock band from Perth, Australia, Tame Impala, whose album Lonerism secured album of the year accolades from the NME and Filter, while female Canadian musician Grimes is in fourth spot with 14 nominations for Visions, including a number one placing from Rough Trade. Making up the top 5 is Brooklyn Rock band Grizzly Bear, who also attracted 14 nominations for their album Shields, but came relatively lower down in most top 10 selections.
The rest of the top 10 in the survey, which, significantly, is made up of six artists signed to Indie labels (and more impressively still, 34 of the top 50 artists are signed to Indies), comprises Jessie Ware - Devotion; Kendrick Lamar - Good Kid, m.A.A.d City; Beach House - Bloom; The Maccabees - Given to the Wild; and Mercury Prize winners Alt-J with An Awesome Wave.
Further down the list Bob Dylan underlines the enduring appeal of his music by making it into the top 20 with Tempest, whilst fellow icons Bruce Springsteen Wrecking Ball (no.23) and Leonard Cohen Old Ideas (no.30) secure a top 30 placing. 2012's biggest-selling album - Emeli Sandé's Our Version of Events, may have been a huge hit with the UK public, but the nation's music critics are slightly less enthusiastic - only voting it the 46th best album of the year according to the poll.