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.

3

Jack White, 'Blunderbuss'

White's solo debut is our first chance ever to hear him truly cut loose, unencumbered by anyone or anything other than his forked imagination. A down-home freakout recorded with a killer band in his adopted hometown of Nashville, Blunderbuss bursts with mutated Memphis soul ("Love Interruption"), crunk-Kiss swag ("Sixteen Saltines") and hippie jazz folk ("Take Me With You When You Go"). The recently divorced White uses his self-made soapbox to shout about the wages of love – and every hypocritical kiss on the record hits like a hammer.

 

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