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.

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Allo Darlin', 'Europe'

42. Allo Darlin', 'Europe'

On their second album, Elizabeth Morris' chiming, ukulele-rocking indie-pop crew, which began as a lark to cover Bruce Springsteen's "Atlantic City" for a tribute LP, stand tall beside forebears like Australia's the Go-Betweens (who get a lyrical shout-out on "Tallulah"). It's all sugar, hooks and tender ache. Whether Morris is singing about an adorable friend "in a riot grrrl band" or another who swears "a record is not just a record" because "records can hold memories," she might just become your newest music-geek crush.

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