The 50 Best Songs of 2012

4. Frank Ocean "Pyramids"

Album: Channel Orange
Producer: Frank Ocean, John Mayer
Label: Def Jam

"Pyramids" isn't a great song, it's two great songs. This nearly 10-minute epic weaves a tale about a young girl lost. The first half of the record deals in the past as Ocean sings about the actual Egyptian pyramids. The second, and better, half takes places in modern times and deals with a stripper who lives with an unemployed loser.

What's even more amazing is that John Mayer (of all people) swoops in at the end for an excellent guitar solo. This is kind of song that only Frank Ocean could have made. Let this be a lesson that artistic risks are rewarded. -IA

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