Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Ocean album tops critics' poll

Frank Ocean's Channel Orange has topped a poll to find the album of the year

Frank Ocean's debut Channel Orange has been hailed the album of the year in a definitive poll of critics.

The 25-year-old US hip-hop artist triumphed in the annual HMV "poll of polls" which draws together the choices of UK music writers.

Ocean, whose album has so far made it to number two in the UK charts, was last week nominated for six Grammy Awards.

The openly gay star - unusual in the hip-hop world - has drawn continual acclaim since the release of his album in July and it has been chosen as album of the year by five UK publications.

Second place in the poll goes to former White Stripes and Raconteurs frontman Jack White with Blunderbuss, his first album under his own name.

In third position is Australian psychedelic rock act Tame Impala with their release Lonerism. The highest ranked UK artist is Jessie Ware whose Devotion is placed sixth.

Retailer HMV styles the list as the definitive guide to the year's best releases after collating and weighting the various nominations which are compiled from the choices of national print and online titles.

Past choices have included last year's Let England Shake by PJ Harvey, Arcade Fire's Suburbs in 2010 and Songs For The Deaf by Queens Of The Stone Age in 2002.

HMV music manager John Hirst said: "It's no surprise that Frank Ocean has come so high up in many critics' top 10s. He's hugely talented and his name's 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."

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Your keen intelligence makes you a popular figure. Everyone is asking for your advice. This may be a sign that it's time to open a consultancy. Why give away your talent when you can charge a fee for it? There's nothing crass about earning money from your natural gifts. If you're interested in someone special, send them a text or email. You always express yourself so well with the written word. The direct, honest approach works best. Don't hide your feelings.More