Anybody still doubting whether or not Frank Ocean deserves all of the hype that he's been receiving was well and truly silenced last night. Frank performed live at MTV's 2012 Video Music Awards and truly wowed the critics with his performance. Ocean performed his track 'Thinkin' Bout You,' which Los Angeles Times describe as "one of the unlikeliest hits of 2012. This is a song that's all vocals and delicate vocals at that."
Accompanied by gentle acoustic guitar, the performance was not only a testament to Ocean's talent but also to Mtv's willingness to allow a relatively new artist the platform to perform his music in such an uncompromising manner: "as he shifted from graceful singing to wavering falsetto, it was never less than riveting." Much of Ocean's album, Channel Orange, relies on electronics to bolster the tracks but actually, last night, we saw Frank Ocean at his best; playing "old school music with just a nip of modern sheen." Channel Orange was released amidst a media furore over the fact that he had recently revealed that his first love was a male. The gossip threatened to overshadow his evident talent. If he continues to put in high profile performances such as he did last night, however, that talent will surely emerge from behind the gauze of the tabloid frenzy.
Ocean wasn't the only new artist given a chance to prove his worth, last night. In an evening dominated by US artists, the British boy band One Direction were something of an anomaly. Their performance of 'One Thing' was a solid group effort, though the one thing they seem to lack is any stand-out vocal talent.