6. Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE
So expectations were high for his debut studio album (and early singles “White,” “Pyramids” and “Sweet Life” raised them even higher), but Ocean unquestionably delivered. channel ORANGE featured guest spots from big names like André 3000, John Mayer, and fellow Odd Future members Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler, the Creator, but Ocean’s presence — in both his songwriting and singing — is so strong that you barely notice them.
Now, with several Grammy nominations, Ocean is contemplating not making any more albums. Although he just said it in passing and it’s hopefully not true, channel ORANGE would be an incredible standalone legacy.