Frank Ocean Tops Entertainment Weekly’s Best Albums of 2012

Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean is popping up on almost every critics’ best-of-the-year list. And now he can add another accolade to his résumé. The “Thinkin Bout You” singer tops Entertainment Weekly‘s list of best albums of 2012 with his Grammy-nominated debut channel ORANGE, while Miguel and Kendrick Lamar also make the top 10. As far as the best singles of the year, EW makes some surprising selections with Solange, Meek Mill, and ScHoolboy Q.

Plus, find out which albums didn’t live up to the hype. Mariah Carey’s Meek Mill and Rick Ross-assisted single “Triumphant (Get ‘Em)” got panned by the magazine as a “sleepy misfire,” while Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – The Re-Up was called “souless, lazy, and totally unnecessary.” Ouch.

See the full lists below.

Best Singles of 2012
1. Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call Me Maybe”
2. Gotye feat. Kimbra, “Somebody That I Used to Know”
3. Japandroids, “The House That Heaven Built”
4. fun., “Some Nights”
5. Taylor Swift, 
”I Knew You Were Trouble”

6. Solange, “Losing You”

7. Meek Mill 
feat. Drake, “Amen”
8. Alex Clare, “Too Close”
9. ScHoolboy Q feat. A$AP Rocky, “Hands on the Wheel”
10. The Lumineers, “Ho Hey”
11. 
Icona Pop, “I Love It”
12. Kanye West feat. G.O.O.D. Music, “Mercy”

13. 
Cat Power, “Cherokee”
14. Usher, “Climax”
15. The Black Keys feat. RZA, “Baddest Man Alive”
16. Sky Ferreira, “Everything Is Embarrassing”
17. 
Ke$ha, “Die Young”
18. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Thrift Shop”
19. Chief Keef, “I Don’t Like”
20. 
Grizzly Bear, “Yet Again”

Worst Singles of 2012
1. Muse, “Survival”
2. Mariah Carey, “Triumphant 
 (Get ‘Em)”
3. Train, “Drive By”
4. Fat Joe, “Instagram
 That Hoe”
5. Chris Brown, “Don’t Judge Me”

Best Albums of 2012
1. Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE
2. Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser…
3. Japandroids, Celebration Rock
4. Miguel, Kaleidoscope Dream
5. Lord Huron, Lonesome Dreams
6. Killer Mike, R.A.P. Music
7. Django Django, Django Django
8. Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d. city
9. Chiddy Bang, Breakfast

Worst Albums of 2012
1. Christina Aguilera – Lotus
2. Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – The Re-Up
3. Marilyn Manson – Born Villain
4. Hank Williams Jr. – Old School New Rules
5. Kreayshawn – Somethin’ Bout Kreay

Do you agree or disagree with EW’s picks? Sound off below.



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109 Comments

  1. Krasava

    Why is Christina’s album on the worst list?her album was good((

    [Reply]

    This Is War Reply:

    @Krasava, OH HELL NO, shit like THIS is why my queen has been absent from twitter. Nicki has been kind to these hoes but her incumbency on the throne will be secured with The Pinkprint.

    [Reply]

    whuuuut Reply:

    @This Is War, bollocks. stop chatting it

    [Reply]

    Robin Reply:

    @Krasava, patamysha tu loh

    [Reply]

    Chanteau Reply:

    @Krasava, I agree, she’s so under-rated now! Her album is actually hot! It may not have been popular but she’s actually singing and the songs are good !

    [Reply]

  2. Dan

    Interesting how Nicki Minaj’s album was named worst album, yet EW gave it a B? And its gotten generally good praise? whack list

    [Reply]

    miles Reply:

    @Dan, It generally got mixed to negative reviews. Just because one critic gave it a good review doesn’t mean it got good reviews overall. that album isn’t good enough for a landfill

    [Reply]

    XO till we overdose Reply:

    @Dan, I don’t like nicki minaj but the fact that chief keef’s ‘I don’t like’ made the best singles list makes me not trust this list one bit. That was actually the worst song ever made in history.

    [Reply]

  3. J. V.

    Overrated Ocean.

    [Reply]

    Wowreally Reply:

    @J. V., foreal he so overrated

    [Reply]

    RoniqueDavis Reply:

    @J. V., Yes,most overrated artist ever!

    [Reply]

    Raj Reply:

    @J. V., Why you mad tho?

    [Reply]

    Redchainsaw Reply:

    @J. V., couldn’t have said it better, no doubt he’s talented, but very overrated

    [Reply]

    Aimanos Reply:

    @Redchainsaw, I agree. Channel Orange had only a few good songs:
    Thinking about you
    Pyramids
    Bad Religion (disrespectful but good)
    Lost
    Forrest Gump

    [Reply]

    Peter Reply:

    @Aimanos, Oh, look. Another idiot who doesn’t know the meaning of “Bad Religion.” Have several seats.

    [Reply]

    miles Reply:

    @Aimanos,
    best songs:
    Super Rich Kids
    Pyraminds
    Monks
    Crack Rock

    [Reply]

    Robin Reply:

    @J. V., yes!!! he is so overrated!

    [Reply]

    bEEzy69 Reply:

    @J. V., Y’all need to stop with the overrated thing. If he didn’t have the success that he has now y’all would say he’s underrated.

    [Reply]

    TakeTheseFactsB*tch Reply:

    @bEEzy69, Why should they stop tho? They’re speaking nothing but the TRUTH!

    Is he talented? Yes! but people d*ck ride him to the fullest!

    I feel like these critics/award shows etc, praise him more for “coming out” then for his actual music it self.

    [Reply]

    RoniqueDavis Reply:

    @TakeTheseFactsB*tch, nobody coulda said that better than you just did

    [Reply]

  4. Dan

    Mariah as #2 Worst Single and Nicki as #2 Worst Album? Sounds about right. At least someone had the balls to say it.

    [Reply]

    Robin Reply:

    @Dan, they’d have balls if they named Gotye’s single as one of the worst.

    [Reply]

  5. Croqque

    Weird ’cause they only gave it a B+ when it came out. They gave lots of albums an A- and probably they gave a couple an A. Guess they thought this was a more marketable choice for them or something.

    [Reply]

  6. Wowreally

    How is Chris brown don’t judge the worst single I love that song and nicki may be the worst album but she. Obvisouly sold a lot albums smh not including the re up sales

    [Reply]

    Ice Reply:

    @Wowreally, Don’t Judge Me screams album filler to me, I was shocked when it was released.

    [Reply]

  7. miles

    this list is dumb. Half the songs in the “Best Singles” list don’t belong there. And I don’t like Chris Brown, but “Don’t Judge Me” isn’t a bad song, let alone worst song of the year

    [Reply]

    RoniqueDavis Reply:

    @miles, agreed,Gangnam Style was probably the worst,Still dont understand what the song is about.Chris deserves some credit for that,it wasnt that bad.

    [Reply]

    MMmHmm Reply:

    @RoniqueDavis, Im over Gangnam, but that song is very popular all over Europe, South & Central America & Asia, even in America a lot of people like it, thats why hes on the list

    [Reply]

  8. Lucian

    I disagree with this EW shit. They crazy . Nicki minaj had a great album . CB had a great single #PDJM . Nicki minaj’s starships shud hve been on best singles of 2012.

    [Reply]

  9. Ice

    One of the most accurate lists I’ve ever seen from a magazine.

    [Reply]

  10. W

    I think Miguel album is better than the Frank one.

    but thats me, I guess

    [Reply]

  11. Pereezy YMCMB MMG

    yayy nicki was the worst. finally some #TRUTH.

    [Reply]

    AllAmerykhanBoy Reply:

    @Pereezy YMCMB MMG, they said the re-up was the worst but they didn’t say Roman Reloaded was the worst but the Pinkprint will have you drooling over her again

    [Reply]

    Truth Hurts Reply:

    @AllAmerykhanBoy, i HIGHLY doubt it. Nicki Minaj isnt going to change her style with one album shes gonna remain the same and she will be releasing the same crap music. How the hell can you take an artist seriously when she basically rips off Jay-Z’s classic Blueprint title and names it Pinkprint? Fuk outta here!!!!

    [Reply]

  12. jp

    If they had just said roman reloaded, I may have agreed with them. However, the re-up is actually a great album. Nicki is back on her rap game on the re-up. High school, Freedom, Hell Yeah, I’m Legit are all great songs.

    [Reply]

  13. meme

    This list is very fair and accurate. Its diversed and well put together. Althought I feel like dimonds by rihanna should be on the best singles.

    [Reply]

    Really Reply:

    @meme, agreed

    [Reply]

    Really Reply:

    @meme, agree

    [Reply]

    Cosign Reply:

    @meme, Definately agree 100%. Diamonds is honestly the best single to come out in 2012. Its extremely catchy without being annoying. Everyone sings the catch line “Shine Bright Like A Diamond” Not one person i know doesnt.

    [Reply]

  14. X

    Disagree.

    Best Singles of 2012
    1. Climax

    Frank had a good Album but never the best Album of 2012.

    [Reply]

    Cranberry Reply:

    @X, and yet it’s the most critically acclaimed of the year. Oh.

    [Reply]

  15. miles

    cO >>>> Kaleidoscope Dream

    [Reply]

  16. 2bad2bme

    brandy two eleven album was the shit they need to give this girl her credit and stop trying to forget about her just because she’s a dark sista

    [Reply]

    Yo Reply:

    @2bad2bme, her album slays.

    [Reply]

    2bad2bme Reply:

    @Yo, yes it does honey

    [Reply]

  17. Cranberry

    Screaming at Fist Brown’s album being so shit it didn’t even make the worst of list.

    [Reply]

  18. Anthony

    If they didn’t have chief keef on there then it would be a good list haha

    [Reply]

  19. Kyle

    Before I had even seen this list, if you would’ve asked me what the worst album of the year was I would’ve said “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” and if you asked me the worst song, it would’ve been Mariah Carey’s “Triumphant.” They were spot on with those lists. I agree with the comment above though, I prefer Miguel’s album over Frank Ocean’s but that’s not to say his was a bad album. I still think it was a bit over-hyped because it just so happened to drop a few days after he said his first love was with a man. Just saying…

    [Reply]

    AllAmerykhanBoy Reply:

    @Kyle, You can’t rad.. they said Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded The Re-Up was the worst album not Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded

    [Reply]

    Kyle Reply:

    @AllAmerykhanBoy, yeah and you can’t SPELL. And at the end of the day it’s ALL THE SAME. The whole album era of “Roman Reloaded” was a mess and that includes the original and re-release.

    [Reply]

    AllAmerykhanBoy Reply:

    @Kyle, A typo in a sentence doesn’t mean I can’t spell. It’s a typo on a website not a college paper. Dumb ass.

    [Reply]

    MOLLYI'mSweatin' Reply:

    @AllAmerykhanBoy, You missed a comma before “not” so I’d keep the “dumb ass.” Not my convo but I’m just saying.

    [Reply]

  20. ...........

    Not surprised about “DJM” making the worst singles list. People aren’t judging him based off of his music; they’re judging him based off of his past. It’s all good. God got it. Thankfully, Chris walked out of 2012 with alot of success compared to other R&B artist. The enemy tried, but failed.

    [Reply]

    Issa Reply:

    @……….., LMAO!! You tried that, poor thing.

    [Reply]

    WonderLand19 Reply:

    @……….., HIGH FIVE!!!!!! Co-Sign everything you said.

    [Reply]

    lonely Reply:

    @WonderLand19, ratchet tsk tsk

    [Reply]

  21. THEDON

    I agree with this list.. Nicki’s album was the wackest of the year

    [Reply]

  22. Lauren

    So happy for Frank Ocean. He deserves all of the success and praise and I’m glad he’s finally getting his recognition. Congrats to Goyte and Usher as well — both songs are very memorable and iconic and will be remembered years down the road.

    [Reply]

  23. AllAmerykhanBoy

    I’m over the Roman Reloaded Revamped Re-staged Re-lingered Repost Reblog Retweet Era. I just need her to release Marilyn Monroe as a single and shoot a video and come back in the fall with a new single and album.

    [Reply]

    Justine Reply:

    @AllAmerykhanBoy, I swear I LOL!!!!!

    [Reply]

  24. Triniti

    Disagree with the placing of “DJM,” but Fortune should definitely be on the worst albums list.

    [Reply]

  25. AllAmerykhanBoy

    Chief Queef really?????………

    [Reply]

  26. WonderLand19

    Frankie is so overrated LOOOOOOOOl I would love to see one critic come out (No pun intended) and say it was average. All the critics ‘trying’ to make Frankie happen. Outside of the blogs, no one knows who he is. Give it up.

    Why did they put ‘Dont Judge Me’ by Breezy as No.5 worst song??? Oh yeah…….. they judged his personal life instead of the music! So predictable smd.

    [Reply]

    Quest Reply:

    @WonderLand19, Tell that to the Grammy nomination board. You tried, though.

    [Reply]

    Real Sh!t Reply:

    @WonderLand19, FINALLY SOMEBOdY UNDERSTANDS ME!!!!!!

    [Reply]

    Rachel Reply:

    @WonderLand19, Predictable words from a Chris Brown stan.

    [Reply]

    jjj Reply:

    @Rachel, ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^YES they need to shutup cuz most of them are dumb ratchets who worship an untalented autotuned dancer

    [Reply]

    V Reply:

    @WonderLand19, i don’t agree with the first bit, his album is hella good.
    but i do agree with the breezy bit, it’s like when he won the grammy and people were like “but he beat rihanna” it was so annoying, judge him on the music not his personal life!

    [Reply]

    Cranberry Reply:

    @WonderLand19, A Chris Brown fan has no meaningful opinion of worth. Quiet down.

    [Reply]

    b Reply:

    @Cranberry, #clapback

    [Reply]

  27. Chloe Spade

    OMG! Frank Ocean is sooo overrated!!

    [Reply]

    Trace Reply:

    @Chloe Spade, Your opinion.

    [Reply]

    V Reply:

    @Chloe Spade, then why read an article on him & comment on it?
    if he’s so overrated, just scroll past. logic.

    [Reply]

    Robin Reply:

    @Chloe Spade, yes, he is!

    [Reply]

  28. Victoria

    Yessss, Frank!! Congratulations!!

    [Reply]

  29. fine ass girl

    congrat to my boo SOLANGE !!!!!!! losing you is the shiiiiit

    [Reply]

  30. rill

    Franks deserved the top spot, but where is Nas’s Life is Good and Brandy’s Twoeleven those were monster albums

    [Reply]

  31. V

    can’t believe “Don’t Judge Me” is in the worst songs list, Breezy doesn’t deserve that. it’s such a good song and he’s so damn talented!

    [Reply]

    Hellioss Reply:

    @V, This is due to the lyrics referring to what Chris Brown is and how he acts cause the song is amazing.

    [Reply]

  32. Audrey Hepburn

    Yay Fiona! :)

    [Reply]

  33. 1

    trey songz heart attack was one of the best singles of 2012

    [Reply]

  34. Adrianna

    Congratulations, Frank! Hi, haters!

    [Reply]

  35. Hellioss

    Thoroughly deserved for Ocean and Solange.

    [Reply]

  36. MMmHmm

    LMAO!!!! THE “QUEEN” ONIKA GOT THE 2ND WORST ALBUM OF 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!! #DEATH!!!!!!!!!! LMAO!!!!!! PREVIOUS FEMALE RAPPERS HAVE NEVER!!!!

    [Reply]

    Justine Reply:

    @MMmHmm, NEVER!!!!!! You can’t explain this away. Even if Nicki hits a home run next time, you can’t take this off the history books.

    [Reply]

    MMmHmm Reply:

    @Justine, TRUTH!, THIS IS FOREVER MARKED ON HER CAREER!

    [Reply]

  37. Justine

    Stop playing and tell the truth. Nicki Minaj thought she was untouchable and could put out anything and the world would like it.

    Remember her telling people that the world was going to have to come up with a “new category” for her music because she wasn’t going to conform. And that she was VERY HAPPY with Roman Reloaded because it best described who she REALLY WAS.

    So Roman Reloaded is the true Nicki; a bunch of unnecessary shit.

    [Reply]

    True Reply:

    @Justine, I remember when she said that too, lmao & her fans believe everything she says, she’s in denial & so are her fans

    [Reply]

    Cosign Reply:

    @Justine, Lmaooo so true. Nicki’s whole career is based off being a gimmick and not a true artist. When you see Nicki Minaj you definately cant take her seriously seeing as how she dresses and the music she makes. Im satisfied at the fact that her music sucks and nobody in the music industry can take her music seriously and that includes all the people who actually know what “GOOD” music is. Shes made herself into a joke and all i can do is laugh because she wants to be the Best female rapper ever lmaoooooooo.

    [Reply]

  38. Yo

    But THE RE UP has a 72/100 on metacritic and was generally well received by the critics. EW, please get your life. Ocean didn’t deserve the number one spot, either. Yes, I enjoyed the album but NOSTALGIA was better. LOTUS is not a bad album either.

    [Reply]

  39. D-LOC

    whats wrong with “Triumphant(get’em)”by Mariah Carey?
    Its catchy, has good lyrics & many creative, remixed variations. It wasnt a comercial hit, true but so what?
    It was definitely not “sleepy”!
    EW is lazy & hatin’…

    [Reply]

    Kyle Reply:

    @D-LOC, my problem with that song is that it was labeled as Mariah’s song but Rick Ross and Meek Mill overpowered her own song. It was very mediocre, especially with it being hyped up and people labeling it her “comeback” song.

    [Reply]

  40. mrsotw

    Miguel> frank ocean

    [Reply]

    I Reply:

    @mrsotw, yeah i like frank, but miguel’s album is better

    [Reply]

  41. TExas

    Frank Ocean just released the song that didn’t have time to be on the Django Unchained Soundtrack.

    [Reply]

  42. RocNation

    disagree with christina is in #1 worst album 2012. Nicki should be in #1 worst album. Totally not disagree with Mariah’s Triumphant song is the worst single

    [Reply]

    RocNation Reply:

    @RocNation, I mean totally disagree with Mariah’s Triumphant song is the worst single

    [Reply]

  43. Detroit

    No Brnady Two Eleven? I feel as though the critics as only praising Frank Ocean on his gimmick of “coming out the closet” rather than his actual music…cuz His album def. wasn’t the best.

    [Reply]

    Detroit Reply:

    @Detroit, **Brandy**

    [Reply]

  44. Proud OF Soidloah boy

    some of those artist I agree is worst album

    [Reply]

  45. Kaylaa

    Really? The Re-Up is AMAZING. Unnecessary? It was NECESSARY FOR her to put it out because people really forgot that she is a RAPPER and here she is reminding you and she DELIVERED. The Re-Up slays. It’s an amazing body of work. What a dumb ass review.

    [Reply]

    Sassy Reply:

    @Kaylaa, How did people forget she was a rapper when she had about 9 rap tracks on Reloaded and her songs were on the Hip Hop/Rap charts? No excuses. Nicki is garbage so the industry is taking out the trash.

    [Reply]

    op Reply:

    @Sassy,F-ck you it.

    [Reply]

    Fuck Peace Reply:

    @Kaylaa, It only seems ‘amazing’ because it came after that roman reloaded mess. It was very ‘soulless’ as the critics say…she wasnt really talking about anything just random punch lines nothing that stood out LYRICALLY…just something you could bop your head too. It was more like an afterthought.

    [Reply]

  46. Danny P

    I’m sorry for Aguilera!

    [Reply]

  47. SHAWTY

    They were right about Mariah’s ” Triumphant” and Chris Brown’s ” Don’t judge me” as WORST SINGLES because I hate those songs…and YESSS CHANNEL ORANGE IS dopeeee..

    [Reply]

  48. Cicco

    Relax, guys. It’s just a list. It doesn’t mean anything. Entertainment Weekly clearly needs to sell a story, or something. ;)

    [Reply]

  49. Kristinee

    Chris Brown Dont Judge Was Dope Af And Kendricks Good Kid Maad City Shouldve Been Higher But I Definatly Agree With Nicki Albums Being Lazy And Triumphant Was Corny

    [Reply]

  50. CorCor

    NICKI MINAJ ALBUM WAS AMAZING!!! WHO MADE THIS LIST THEY ARE OBVIOUSLY DUMB AS HELL!

    [Reply]

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