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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Gregg Allman, 'Southern Blood'

41. Gregg Allman, 'Southern Blood'

The final album by Gregg Allman, who died in May, is a moving farewell statement à la twilight masterworks by Leonard Cohen and David Bowie. Yet while Southern Blood is rich with intimations of mortality, it's easygoing, too, with a laid-back generosity that recalls Allman's kindest Seventies work – see his warm take on Lowell George's Southern-rock salvo "Willin'," or versions of tender folk reckonings by his friends Tim Buckley and Jackson Browne. The most moving moment is the searching blues "My Only True Friend," sung as a conversation with his brother Duane. "It feels like home is just around the bend," he sings. It's the elegiac sound of gracefully moving on. J.D.

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