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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Jimmy Cliff, 'Rebirth'

12. Jimmy Cliff, 'Rebirth'

Jamaica's original pre-Marley pop star came back full force in 2012 with a warm, wondrous album that plays like a guided tour of the island's musical past, as well as Cliff's own. There's ska, rock steady, roots reggae, a revelatory cover of the Clash's "Guns of Brixton" delivered in Cliff's trademark soulful tenor, grittier but still lovely more than 40 years after his debut. The chorus of "Reggae Music," an autobiographical account of his early career, sums it all up: "Reggae music making me feel good/Reggae music making me feel all right now."

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