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.

15

Dr. John, 'Locked Down'

In New Orleans, death is often mourned with a joyful second-line parade of music and dancing. Dr. John used Locked Down to celebrate his beloved Crescent City, which was nearly killed by rightwing neglect after Hurricane Katrina. In a piqued growl, he sings about drugs, poverty, “gold diggers [and] money wasters.” With production and corrugated guitar by Black Keys mastermind Dan Auerbach, the 72-year-old mixes rock, funk and even Afrobeat to describe a soggy wasteland where honest men have equal fear of the KKK and the CIA.

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