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.

13

Leonard Cohen, 'Old Ideas'

At 78 years old, the dapper Canadian sage came back to whisper his heavier-than-ever poetry about sex and spirituality, complete with bedroom scenes like "I'm naked and I'm filthy/And there's sweat upon my brow." As a man who never really sounded young he was well into his thirties when he dropped his classic debut album in 1967 – Cohen adapts to this uncharted age with a lifetime's worth of grace and wit. Best lines: "I dreamed about you, baby, you were wearin' half your dress/I know you have to hate me, but could you hate me less?"

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