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.

40

Escort, 'Escort'

Disco never died. It was just hiding out in Brooklyn, where this 17-piece club orchestra crafted its debut set of glitter-caked grooves. In a year when we lost such giants of the genre as Donna Summer and Robin Gibb, there is something reassuring about how faithfully tunes like "Cocaine Blues" and "Starlight" channel the sleek, sexy sound of Studio 54 at its peak, down to the last high-hat and brass flourish. "A knife, a fork, a bottle and a cork/That's the way we spell New York," vocalist Adeline Michèle sings. Up-all-night civic pride rarely sounds so fun.

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