20 Songs of 2012

After a year dominated by emotions and vocals from the stunning Adele, 2012 is a welcoming surprise of varieties. From the rise of a boyband to a country star transitioning to pop to new breed of artists making potentially more than one-hit wonders.

In 2012, we threw a wish in a well just to give our heart a break from the heartaches of somebody that we used to know. But we are young and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and that makes us beautiful. Ha!

So here it is, a subjective list of 20 songs from mainstream music book that I personally thought dominated 2012’s radio, chart, video viewing and pop culture. Hence giving us a dynamic playlist for a 2012 ride.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Adele – Turning Tables; Maroon 5 (ft. Wiz Khalifa) – Payphone; The Civil Wars (ft. Taylor Swift) – Safe & Sound; One Direction – Live While We’re Young; The Wanted – Glad You Came; Nicki Minaj – Starships; Justin Bieber (ft. Big Sean) – As Long As You love Me; Frank Ocean – Thinking About You

20. 6 DEGREES OF SEPARATION
The Script

“The rousing chorus sees Danny O’Donoghue on good vocal form and he really does pack the track with plenty of a motion that just gives the song that little bit of something.” – Female First

19. LET ME LOVE YOU
Ne-Yo

“The song’s uplifting self-worth message (not to mention soul clap-heaven bridge, “for every heart that beats / for every heart that beats”) make this one of 2012’s standout dance-pop cuts in a year filled with far more innocuous entries.” – Billboard

18. ONE MORE NIGHT
Maroon 5

“… there’s a bit of a reggae style infused into the percussion, giving the song a more dancey feel. The song is erected on a thumped out (and looped) beat, in addition to Levine’s signature falsetto, where he tosses off lyrics about not getting along with (or being able to untangle himself from) his lady love.” – Pop Crush

17. GIVE YOUR HEART A BREAK
Demi Lovato

“… is full of poignant little moments like that, like the sadly affectionate way Demi exhales the term of endearment “My love” in the second verse, or the way the track drops out around her as she belts out the words, “Baby try to understand,” revealing only the crushing power of her vocal, or indeed, that little break in her voice as the song is winding down around 2:49.” – MTV

16. LOCKED OUT OF HEAVEN
Bruno Mars

“… The song is about unbridled passion, but as usual with Mars, the aesthetic is tidy and impeccable, pop songcraft polished to a high-gloss gleam: jittery Police-esque rock-reggae verses that erupt, amid thunder-boom synths, into a steamrolling four-on-the-floor chorus.” – Rolling Stone

15. TITANIUM
David Guetta (ft. Sia)

“… The impact flows over you like a wave crashing on the shore. It is still relatively simplistic in structure, but the sounds are quite beautiful.” – About Entertainment

14. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN
Rihanna

“… begins humbly with Rihanna’s romantic singing and a few electronic pulses before Harris and fellow producers Dr. Luke and Cirkut use their defibrillator pads on the beat. Soon, Rihanna’s layered vocals are charging head-first into a slithering bass drop that becomes the song’s filthy, fantastic sticking point.” – Billboard

13. STRONGER (WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU)
Kelly Clarkson

“… it’s a glittery disco-rock romp punctuated by another chill-inducing Clarkson message of empowerment, “Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone.” Electric guitars and powerful synths make this an instant sing-along classic.” – Pop Crush

12. IT’S TIME
Imagine Dragons

“… features an infectious blend of clapping and mandolin—an instrument that’s seen an unlikely revival this year.” – Plugged In

11. WE ARE NEVER EVER GETTING BACK TOGETHER
Taylor Swift

“… Swift expands an already impressive songwriting range to incorporate a biting sarcasm within her deep-rooted confidence.” – Billboard

10. WHAT MAKES YOU BEAUTIFUL
One Direction

“… Easy to hear why this single has stuck. Like ‘N Sync’s most durable hits, with a cheeky electro-pop twist.” – Billboard

9. LIGHTS
Ellie Goulding

“… is a great introduction to a fresh sound coming from across the pond and a nice alternative to the synth-heavy hip-hop and club beats that saturate radio play today.” – Common Sense Media

8. HOME
Phillip Phillips

“… Built upon upbeat acoustic guitar chording that immediately brings to mind folk rockers from across the pond such as  Mumford & Sons and Glen Hansard, “Home” majors in a message of hang-in-there encouragement that’s every bit as positive as the song itself sounds.” – Plugged In

7. LEGO HOUSE
Ed Sheeran

“… riddled with earworm hooks – but it’s the sharpness of his lyrics that shine brightest.” – Digital Spy

6. SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO KNOW
Gotye (ft. Kimbra)

“… This haunting, spare tune (which melds a trippy combination of Jack White-approved acoustic bass and guitar, muffled drums and ’60s-esque xylophone fills) writes the obituary of a romantic relationship. And by the time Gotye gets to the chorus, it’s impossible not to recall two other famously emotive European singers: Sting and Peter Gabriel. Simultaneously, the song’s palpable bitterness echoes just a bit of the vibe that  Adele has been mining for pop gold as of late.” – Plugged In

5. CALL ME MAYBE
Carly Rae Jepsen

“… full of bushy-tailed strings and PG-rated guitar chugging; Jepsen’s hairbrush vocals are charmingly heartfelt, and easy enough for popular Hollister-clad girls in schools everywhere to emulate. The lyrics, full of wishing wells and ripped jeans, were almost certainly written with hearts dotting the “i”s. And herein lies its charm: the climactic rush towards the chorus isn’t fraught with sexuality, but merely the giddiness of tweenage infatuation. ” – The Guardian

4. A THOUSAND YEARS (Part 2)
Christina Perri (ft. Steve Kazee)

“… feature an instrument-rich arrangement filled with piano and strings, along with Perri’s pretty, plaintive vocals.” – Common Sense Media

3. WE ARE YOUNG
Fun. (ft. Janelle Monae)

“…takes its warm retro sound into soaring ballad territory. Careful arrangements layer sharp, bright piano melodies with big, booming drums and multiple vocal harmonies, but frontman Nathan Reuss’ vocal dexterity shines through as the track’s strongest component.” – Billboard

2. DIAMONDS
Rihanna

“.. steers the polar opposite from her recent clubbier efforts and adopts a rarely-seen softer and more prolific edge.” – Digital Spy

1. I WON’T GIVE UP
Jason Mraz

“.. majors in sweet dedication, as its title implies. No winking double entendres here. No self-centered narcissism. No vapid shout-outs to empty lifestyles. Just a promise to be there, no matter what. Period.” – Plugged In

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One thought on “20 Songs of 2012

  1. Pingback: 20 Songs of 2013 | Of random paper notes;

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