Media Release: HMV’s Poll of Polls reveals Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange as music critics’ Album of the Year 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.

Now in its 12th year, each December, when music writers traditionally nominate their albums of the year, music and 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.

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 mtvU’s 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 five – 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 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.”

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 five is Brooklyn Rock band Grizzly Bear, who also attracted 14 nominations for their album Shields, but came relatively lower down in most top ten selections.

The rest of the top ten 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.



HMV Press & PR: / +44 (0)20 7432 2033 or +44 (0)7801 194 139.

High res images of Frank Ocean and a packshot of his Channel Orange album available on request.


Media organisations polled: BBC, Clash magazine, Classic Rock, Daily Mail, Daily Star Playlist, Digital Spy, Evening Standard, Filter, The Fly, Gorilla Vs. Bear, Guardian, Kerrang!, Mojo, Music Week, NME, Paste, Pitchfork, Pop Bitch, Q, Rolling Stone, Rough Trade, Spin, Stereogum, Sun Bizarre, Sun Something For The Weekend, TIME, Time Out, Times, Uncut, The Wire and XFM.

Previous Winners of the hmv Poll of Polls: PJ Harvey – Let England Shake (2011); Arcade Fire – Suburbs (2010); Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion (2009); Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid (2008); LCD Soundsystem – Sound Of Silver (2007); Joanna Newsom – Ys (2006); Arcade Fire – Funeral (2005); Kanye West – College Dropout (2004); OutKast – Speakerboxxx: The Love Below (2003); Queens Of The Stone Age – Songs For The Deaf (2002); Daft Punk – Discovery (2001).


1. Frank Ocean – Channel Orange (22 noms)

2. Jack White – Blunderbuss (15 noms)

3. Tame Impala – Lonerism (15 noms)

4. Grimes – Visions (14 noms)

5. Grizzly Bear – Shields (14 noms)

6. Jessie Ware – Devotion (13 noms)

7. Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city (13 noms)

8. Beach House – Bloom (11 noms)

9. The Maccabees – Given To The Wild (nine noms)

10. Alt-J – An Awesome Wave (nine noms)

11. Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords

12. Django Django – Django Django

13. Sharon Van Etten – Tramp

14. Cat Power – Sun

15. Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music

16. The xx – Coexist

17. Chromatics – Kill For Love

18. Dirty Projectors – Swing Lo Magellan

19. Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls

20. Bob Dylan – Tempest

21. Swans – The Seer

22. Flying Lotus – Until The Quiet Comes

23. Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball

24. Richard Hawley – Standing At The Sky’s Edge

25. Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man In The Universe

26. TY Segall – Twins

27. Liars – XIXIW

28. Japandroids – Celebration Rock

29. Death Grips – The Money Store

30. Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas

31. Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dream

32. Lana Del Rey – Born To Die

33. Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill

34. Chairlift – Something

35. Mark Lanegan Band – Blues Funeral

36. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

37. Julia Holter – Ekstasis

38. David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant

39. The Vaccines – Come Of Age

40. Cloud Nothings – Attack On Memory

41. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Mature Themes

42. Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man

43. Policia – Give You The Ghost

44. Animal Collective – Centipede Hz

45. Kindness – World, You Need A Change Of Mind

46. Emeli Sandé – Our Version of Events

47. Field Music – Plumb

48. Mumford & Sons – Babel

49. DIIV – Oshin

50. Hot Chip – In Our Heads

MEDIA RELEASE posted by HMV. You too can post media releases (aka press releases) on For more information, email here.

Contact: HMV UK Ltd
Phone: 02074322033