July 30, 2012 12:00 PM

Frank Ocean

Channel Orange | 4 stars



This R&B discovery recently made news for saying he’d been in love with a man. What really should be making headlines, though, is his talent. This is an intricate yet seamless tapestry of layered music and detailed lyrics-an instant neo-soul classic on the order of D’Angelo’s and Maxwell’s debuts. Like those artists, Ocean has learned from Stevie Wonder and Prince, channeling both masters on the 10-minute epic “Pyramids.” This is not just the best debut of 2012-it’s the best album period.

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