Happy holidays! It's that time of year when we take a look back to celebrate what kept us moving forward. This week, we'll countdown the Top 25 albums and next week we'll take on the singles.
1. Frank Ocean, “Channel Orange” (Def Jam): Frank Ocean is a different kind of soul man. He can rap tough or sing in the sweetest falsetto. He is equally at home using warm, live instrumentation and icy synths to make his points. While so much of hip-hop is concerned with wealth yielding happiness, he shows its lonelier side in “Super Rich Kids.” Sure, he made headlines by declaring his attraction to a man, but the real attention should go to the craft he puts into epic social commentary like “Pyramids” and complicated questions like “Bad Religion.”