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The albums that made the first half of our year came at us from every direction (often, more than one at a time). We've collected our favorites into a handy little list that we're happy to share with you today. (There's plenty more mid-year coverage over here, including a list of our 50 favorite songs and a discussion of 2012's highlights at its midpoint.) If you're looking for a summer road trip album, a soundtrack to your hot summer nights or your dreams of winter, start here.