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.

14

Best Coast, 'The Only Place'

Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino is still besotted with the glorious sulk of Sixties girl-group pop and the awesomeness of California living ("Why would you live anywhere else?" she wonders on the surf-rock title track). But with L.A. producer/pop historian Jon Brion on board, the tales of boredom, touchy friendships and shaky relationships on her second record open up and brighten up – half of them even break the three-minute mark. And with less reverb-y guitar haze to hide behind, her voice comes into its own as one of indie rock's mightiest.

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