50 Best Albums of 2017

Taylor Swift clapped back, Kendrick Lamar got personal, Lorde threw a high-concept party and more

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Bob Dylan, 'Triplicate'
50
35/50

35. Bob Dylan, 'Triplicate'

Rock's most influential songwriter hasn't released an album of original compositions in five years. He's focused instead on the Great American Songbook, in particular those pre-rock standards immortalized by Frank Sinatra. On his third album in this series, a sprawling yet intimate three-disc epic, Dylan doesn't shy away from tunes as familiar as "As Time Goes By" and "Stormy Weather" – it's almost as though he tackles the well-known tunes so you can hear how he's Dylanized them. Backed by a small band (and the occasional horn section), he sings with care and nuance, looking back on past loves and losses with a tone of brooding regret that eventually ebbs into a kind of reluctant acceptance. When Dylan raggedly croons, "I find that I'm smiling gently as I near/September, the warm September of my years," well, the Nobel Prize winner couldn't have said it better himself. K.H.

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