Best R&B/Pop Record (Mainstream) of 2012

Reader's Pick

Frank Ocean - Pyramids Artwork

Frank Ocean - Pyramids

Speaking of unconventional choices that paid-off big-time, it's not every day an R&B singer signed to a major label releases a single that's ten minutes long, lacks a prominent hook, and foregoes traditional romantic themes in favor of an allegorical, historical-revisionist examination of black femininity. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's only happened once, ever. When Frank Ocean stepped into the Booth with Pyramids back in June, readers instantly recognized the Channel Orange inclusion as a record of rare beauty, ambition and eloquence. Months later, the record still stands out as one of 2012's most remarkable releases.

Runner Up:
B.o.B - So Good

Staff Pick

Miguel - Adorn  Artwork

Miguel - Adorn

Miguel has said that he didn't have any idea the world would respond to Adorn the way it has, but one listen and it's not hard to hear why. From the perfectly minimal production to Miguel's searching lyrics and dynamic delivery, this is the kind of song that was assuredly the soundtrack to many proclamations (and we assume consummations) of love in 2012. It turns out that true love, like R&B, is timeless.

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