50 Best Albums of 2012

Frank Ocean reimagined R&B; Dylan drenched us in blood; pop-punk vets, disco orchestras and Scottish oddballs made an election year bearable.

19

Band of Horses, 'Mirage Rock'

Working with Seventies-rock veteran Glyn Johns, Ben Bridwell and crew nail a time-warp classicism. They conjure the embroidered-blue-jean countryrock of the Eagles (whose first LPs were helmed by Johns) and spike it with punk noise and a 21st-century bloodshot optimism. "A Little Biblical" is a close-harmonized hookfest determined to stay sober enough to make something positive happen. But during the CSNY-meets-Crazy Horse schizophrenia of "Dumpster World," they decide to hell with it – let's just empty the jails and "bust out the drugs."

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