#4. Frank Ocean, nostalgia/ULTRA

Label: N/A
Released: February 18

When the relatively unknown New Orleans-born singer Frank Ocean dropped nostalgia, ULTRA he wowed us with his voice, his creativity, and his songwriting ability. Emotionally and sonically fearless, the album dives headfirst into the highs and lows faced by a young man confronting heartbreak ("Lovecrimes"), sadness ("There Will Be Tears"), and even thoughts of suicide ("Swim Good").

It's easy to imagine Frank Ocean dressed like he's ready for a funeral, rolling around in his Lincoln Town Car, bumping some good beats on his 808s CD like he says on "Swim Good." Maybe because the Odd Future–affiliated crooner allows the listener to see the world through his eyes no circumstance feels too extreme, and we can connect to universality of his extreme emotions.