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.

Dave Matthews Band, 'Away From the World'
29/50

29. Dave Matthews Band, 'Away From the World'

DMB's sixth straight record to debut at Number One reunited the group with its Nineties producer Steve Lillywhite; the album's political entreaties made for some of 2012's best GOTV rock. But there's also a stormy introspection to these tricky, rolling jams. "Rooftop" is a drunken, vengeful breakup fantasy; on "The Riff," quiet romantic desperation gets run through Boyd Tinsley's jabbing violin lines; and when Matthews sings, "That's not a star, that's a satellite," on "Drunken Soldier," it's clear he's standing under an angry sky.

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