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Best of 2012: Albums #15-#11

Members of Green Day, from left, Tre Cool,

Members of Green Day, from left, Tre Cool, Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt attend the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles. (Sept. 6, 2012) Credit: AP

Happy holidays! It's that time of year when we take a look back to celebrate what kept us moving forward. This week, we'll countdown the Top 25 albums and next week we'll take on the singles.

15. Miguel, “Kaleidoscope Dream” (RCA): A stunningly innovative set of new R&B standards.

14. Madonna, “MDNA” (Interscope): Bouncing between bubblegum-pop and soul-baring emotions, Madonna shows off her best songwriting in years.

13. Motion City Soundtrack, “Go” (Epitaph): Power pop anthems about the search for solutions.

12. Bob Dylan, “Tempest” (Columbia): Yet another impressive collection of fine writing (“Soon After Midnight”) and a stunning 14-minute example of storytelling in the title track. Is he talking about the Titanic? Of course. Is he also talking about America? Hmm.

11. Green Day, “Uno!”/ “Dos!” / “Tre!” (Reprise): The ambitious trilogy meant to chronicle a wild night out and its aftermath is packed with winners, from “Oh Love” to “Dirty Rotten Bastards.” Unfortunately, it may not immediately get its due with singer Billie Joe Armstrong in rehab, recovering from the trilogy's making and promotion, but it will.

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