Yesterday was about fashion (Part 2 of the Best Red Carpet looks two days from now!) , but today’s focus will be on the music. Music in 2012 has been a transitional stage. While we still get the likes of club bangers, the music industry has been more welcoming in embracing alternative and electronica music as well. That of course, and the usual pop fare we had.
The eight songs above are the past songs which the topped my list since I started doing them back in 2004. Which one will take the top spot this year? Will Usher finally have a guy companion on the list? Moving from Gangnam Style and Starships aside, here’s thirty of the stand out songs of the year.
30. NOW IS THE START (A Fine Frenzy)
Alison Sudol, more familiarly knows as A Fine Frenzy has been in the industry since 2006, but I don’t think a lot of people are still familiar with her music. While her genres cover pop-rock the most, I think listening to Now is the Start will give you an idea with her musical direction, and this song is a perfect representative of that.
29. TONIGHT (John Legend featuring Ludacris)
Album: OST – Think Like A Man
While most of John Legend’s recent outputs are with The Roots, he never lost touch using his jazzy voice that are perfect for romance time music. This one, a collaboration with Ludacris, can be inluded to that list.
28. I WON’T GIVE UP (Jason Mraz)
Album: Love is a Four Letter Word
While he won’t probably achieve success that is similar to the longevity of his song I’m Yours had, it’s perfectly fine especially if he’s spewing hits such as this romantic song I Won’t Give Up which was the carrier single of his latest album.
27. TALKING WITH THE WOLVES (Glen Hansard)
Album: Take the Heartland
Best well known for that romantic song with then girlfriend Marketa Iglove, Oscar winner Glen Hansard is back releasing EPs and singles such as Talking with the Wolves which is a perfect contrast to the genius that is Falling Slowly.
26. LEVELS (Avicii)
Album: The Singles
Swedish DJ Avicii broke into a more commercial fare this year, thanks to his song Levels which took a sample from the famous Etta James song “Something’s Got a Hold On Me.” There’s no better promotion than this than being heard worldwide when it as used as the song during the Swimsuit Competition of Miss Universe this year.
25. GIVE YOUR HEART A BREAK (Demi Lovato)
The follow up to her inspirational song Skyscraper, Demi Lovato’s next single Give Your Heart a Break was a catchy pop single that reminds us of late 90s pop music. Well done, Demi!
24. FREEDOM AT 21 (Jack White)
While his Grammy nomination for Blunderbuss as Album of the Year was a surprise, it is definitely not surprising to think that it contains the rock track Freedom at 21 which is one of the songs of the past year.
23. ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN (Ellie Goulding)
While the US is lately catching up on Lights (which was released two years ago), Ellie’s first single from her latest album Halycon, Anything Could Happen is as catchy as one can get, and definitely worth to be heard by many.
22. VIDEO GAMES (Lana del Rey)
Album: Born to Die
Probably one of the weirdest instances of Saturday Night Live ruining your career (hey there, Ashlee Simpson!), Lana del Rey was next in line for stardom but that just didn’t happen. Regardless though, the quality of her music deserves a second chance especially with songs such as Video Games.
21. ADORN (Miguel)
Album: Kaleidoscope Dream
Considered as the biggest R&B hit of the year, Miguel’s Adorn definitely deserves the accolades it received such as the Grammy Song of the Year. If anything, Miguel’s songs are perfect throwback to the old R&B, and this is no exception.
20. JUST A FOOL (Christina Aguilera featuring Blake Shelton)
It’s quite saddening to know that Christina Aguilera’s latest album did not do well commercially thinking that it had some great gems in it such as this collaboration with fellow The Voice coach Blake Shelton. In Just a Fool, Christina showed potentials of going the country route which will probably work well for her career.
19. DAREDEVIL (Fiona Apple)
Album: The Idler Wheel
Fiona rarely does albums, but when she does, you know it’s worth the long wait. From her latest album The Idler Wheel, this track entitled daredevil is one of the standout tracks.
18. SAFE & SOUND (The Civil Wars featuring Taylor Swift)
Album: OST – The Hunger Games
When she’s not singing about heartbreaks and boys, Taylor Swift can do much better such as this T-Bone Burnett produced song that was recorded as a collaboration with fellow country acts The Civil Wars. Safe and Sound perfectly captured the environment created in the world of The Hunger Games.
17. OVER YOU (Miranda Lambert)
Album: Four the Record
From one country superstar to another, Miranda Lambert donned back to back great albums with her follow up Four the Record. This CMA Song of the Year winner, which was dedicated to Blake Shelton’s younger brother, was sung so emotionally by Miranda that it transcends to its listeners effectively.
16. TAKE CARE (Rihanna featuring Drake)|
Album: Take Care
Rihanna and Drake’s collaborations are always top notch. In 2010, I ranked their first collaboration What’s My Name at number 7. The second time they did it, this time for Drake’s album, is a perfect song that captures the status of an optimistic relationship. There’s something about this ex couple’s songs that works well.
15. DIAMONDS (Rihanna)
When will this girl srsly take a rest? While waiting, we’d have to admit that this first single off her seventh album Unapologetic, was real LSS worthy. The Sia penned track Diamonds also showed improvement in her vocal abilities. But again, rest please?
14. ANGELS (The xx)
From their sophomore album Coexist, this English indie band’s first single Angels was reminiscent of some Norah Jones melody, only this time, with a three man band performing.
13. TRY (P!nk)
Album: The Truth About Love
Pop superstar Pink has just came up with her best album date, and as she effectively switches from tongue in cheek songs such as Blow Me One Last Kiss, she’s also capable of giving us worthy tracks such as Try that shows her powerhouse vocals.
12. I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE (Taylor Swift)
Bash her all you want, but this dubstep inspired song from Taylor Swift definitely shows that she can be creative with her approach in music even if the lyrics remain about moving on (or lack thereof).
11. LONELY BOY (The Black Keys)
Album: El Camino
The lead single off their Grammy nominated album El Camino, Lonely Boy was a clear representation of the different influences had that results to this catchy distinctive sound in the song.
10. HO HEY (The Lumineers)
Album: The Lumineers
Giving the current trend of folk pop in it, The Lumineers are one of the year’s breakthrough acts, thanks to their lead single Ho Hey which garnered both critical and commercial success.
09. MERCY (Kanye West)
Album: Cruel Summer
Kanye West’s celebrity status (he’s dating Kim Kardashian after all) can be really annoying, but the same can’t be said for the music that he releases. With the help of fellow rap artists Big Sean, Pusha T, and 2 Chainz, this song Mercy is probably the best rap effort of the year.
08. BAD GIRLS (MIA)
Her first and so far, solo single, for her latest effort Matangi, Bad Girls was part hypnotic, part bad ass, and the infused Indian sounds in the beginning already had you hooked. Plus points for that awesome music video.
07. HOME (Phillip Phillips)
Album: The World from the Side of the Moon
Just when we’re ready to erase American Idol from the planet, here comes latest winner Phillip Phillips doing a Mumford & Sons inspired song as his coronation single. In the eleven years that the show existed, Home is the best song that they have ever given to a winner.
06. SKYFALL (Adele)
Album: OST – Skyfall
2011 champ Adele might not be as visible as last year (though she picked up six Grammys earlier this year), but she donned one of the best Bond soundtracks ever in history via the same titled Skyfall. Trivia: Adele asked and read the whole script of the movie first before penning the song with constant collaborator Paul Epworth.
05. WE ARE YOUNG (fun featuring Janelle Monae)
Album: Some Nights
We Are Young which was fun’s debut single was one of the pioneers on the abolished domination of the clubbangers from the Billboard Hot 100 this year. After all, who wouldn’t get hooked to this song? Even Emma Watson and Kristen Stewart were jamming to it.
04. MIDNIGHT CITY (M83)
Album: Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
M83 is on their sixth album already, and yes, even I wasn’t aware of them prior to this one, but this catchy Midnight City (which inspired Christina Aguilera’s Lotus Intro) with it’s really memorable riff in it is definitely one of the year’s bests.
03. PYRAMIDS (Frank Ocean)
Album: Channel Orange
Probably the best new act this year, Frank Ocean’s smooth vocals were just to die for. This is the voice of classic R&B that made it really famous. While Thinking of You is the one getting recognition left and right, I’d still prefer the underrated Pyramids as his best effort from his breakthrough album.
02. THE A TEAM (Ed Sheeran)
Not that he needs Taylor Swift just to boost of his popularity, but Ed Sheeran is a talent act of his own. This young Brit (just 21!) is already making a name for himself prior to the Swift collaboration and was even one of the performers at this year’s Olympics. Ultimately, his A Team song got the recognition it deserved as it got a nod for Song of the Year. And deservingly so.
01. SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO KNOW (Gotye featuring Kimbra)
Album: Making Mirrors
And in the end, my pick as 2012’s song of the year is this collaboration between Gotye and Kimbra. Somebody That I Used to Know starting from its sampled beat in the beginning up to its repetitive lyrics in the near end is an appealing track of its own. While Gotye being a one hit one wonder is on an issue of its own, I’d still defend this as the song of this year.
Now I ask you, what are your picks for this year? How about the year of music in general? And what are you expecting this 2013?