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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Grimes, 'Visions'

33. Grimes, 'Visions'

Canadian electro-high-priestess Claire Boucher did more than anyone this year to stoke the hot romance between R&B and dream pop. A one-woman Kraftwerk who performs with an arsenal of machines and a couple of booty dancers, she's a true stylistic omnivore, and her breakthrough set uses EDM extremism, medieval chants, sugar-crusted melodies and her own sky-high voice to rethink pop music. See the irresistible Far East chipmunk chants on "Genesis," or "Skin," which suggests Florence Welch savoring a postcoital bong.

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