Frank Ocean has become one of the biggest headline makers over this year’s musical awards season, picking up nominations left and right both in America and in the UK.
But despite all the nods and incredible amounts of affection from his contemporaries, Frank’s been left pretty empty handed this year, with only a fairly minor Grammy and a BRIT to sit on the mantelpiece.
While he may be getting overlooked at all the major awards shows we only need the thinnest of excuses to start gushing about him, so we’re going to pinpoint exactly why we love the man who crafted for us the best album of 2012.
Over the past eighteen months, everyone and their friend has been clamouring to work with Ocean and since the release of his incredible debut album, we’ve all been more than keen to present him with the keys to the musical kingdom.
While ‘Nostalgia, Ultra’ was a fantastic sample of what Ocean could do, the mixtape was raw and still a little rough around the edges. With ‘Channel Orange’, he perfected the formula he’d laid out before, harnessing the same levels of emotion and truth and putting them together in a much more comprehensive and well-crafted package.
Frank Ocean’s isn’t just a fantastic record in its genre though, it completely picks up the genre, shakes it around, throws out all of the rubbish and puts it back together a far better state of affairs. R&B has always had a couple of real issues, the first is that it's got a horrid habit of getting overly sentimental, the other being that it's always trying to be cool. These are two things that can never be levelled at the collective works of Ocean.
Both ‘Nostalgia, Ultra’ and ‘Channel Orange’ are disarmingly open, personal and unconcerned with bravado and self-aggrandising lyrics. From Thinkin' Bout You to Pilot Jones via Swim Good, Ocean's songs have offered an unfiltered look into the mind of the man behind the microphone.
It's this honesty that's not only endeared us massively to Frank Ocean musically, but personally as well, with us positively waving banners of support come awards time and during his recent spat with the constantly loveable Chris Brown.
This approach was instantly met with rave reviews and near universal adoration, with critics (including ourselves) saying that he’s created a new benchmark for R&B. This same level of love was shown when it came to award nominations, with Ocean earning nods for nearly all the major awards out there on both sides of the Atlantic.
Time after time though we’ve tuned in to see that he’s been beaten to the punch. Whether by Mumford and Sons at the Grammys, The Maccabees at the NME Awards or Nicki Minaj at the MOBOs, Ocean hasn’t swept away all that come before him like many perceived.
The real puzzle is that for the life of us we can’t figure out why. He’s not antagonistic or divisive, if anything giving prizes to him would actually be the opposite of that.
While he might be given his dues in statuette form later on in his career, so far Frank remains one of the most criminally under-awarded artists out there. While we’re sure that it’s not going to be keeping him up at night, it’s just annoying that a real special piece of work isn’t getting the plaudits it perhaps deserves.
So what’s your opinion of Frank and if you love him as much as we do, why do you think that he’s not been inundated with awards left right and centre so far? Let us know in the comments.