Well, what a year 2012 was for music! We’ve been given a song about calling someone… maybe, Korean dance moves *insert Gangnam Style dance here* and of course the quite frankly Schermazing introduction of James Arthur, Ella Henderson and… uh… Rylan into the world of British music via The X Factor.
But what is the point of 12 months of music if, at the end of it, you can’t make a list of the best of it? None, I tell you. No point whatsoever. So, here I have compiled a list of the top 21 songs, because who wants to just do 20 songs nowadays? Yes, that right… I’m stepping right out of the box of normality and making it a square.
So, every song included on this list was either released, uploaded or came to prominence in 2012. Without further ado, let’s begin…
I’m sorry but if this song doesn’t make you cry, or at least feel a lot of emotion, then you must be made of stone. With this song it seemed Paloma Faith went beyond being just someone who had been in the St Trinians movies and sang ‘a bit’ to being a full blown British pop star.
Her album, Fall to Grace, is pretty amazing too but Picking Up The Pieces is its highlight, a seminal ballad of rare emotion and with a chorus that will either make you sing along…or grab a man-sized box of Kleenex and the nearest box of chocolates.
ï¿½ 20. Diamonds – Rihanna
It’s no lie that every single year for the past four years, without fail, Rihanna has released a brand new song and album. Some would argue that this is a stroke of RiRi genius; music acts need to, in this modern music climate, release songs and albums quickly or otherwise they run the risk of fading if their ‘star’ isn’t as large as, say, Lady GaGa or Madonna. Others would argue that Rihanna doing this makes her music rushed and with a lack of quality.
To these concerned individuals, I say listen to this song. It’s the complete opposite of We Found Love, which it really needed to be, and displays Rihanna in another, more vulnerable light.
But, dear reader, bear this in mind, if she can churn this masterpiece out in a few months…imagine how good Rihanna could be if she spent two years on an album…
ï¿½ 19. Let It Go – Alexandra Burke
I think Alexandra Burke serves as solid proof of taking too long to make music when you aren’t an established artist. She waited two, three years to release new material between her, very good, debut album. The result is that, although the songs were amazing, no one really cared or wanted to care.
But I do. In fact, I think Let It Go is pretty bloody brilliant. It certainly is a very ‘feel good’ song.
Bravo, Burkey. Bravo.
ï¿½ 18. Try – Pink
Unlike Alexandra Burke, Pink is already an established star and when she returned in 2012, a lot of people wanted to know about her.
Mainly because of songs like this, which is a brilliant song, and because Pink is quite amazing.
But already I hear you ask, why did you choose this and not Blow Me (One Last Kiss)? Quite simply because Try doesn’t rely on any of Pink’s normal sweary-rock-stuff to make it brilliant. It’s just brilliant the way it is, without any swear words or spoken bits at all.
ï¿½ 17. Domino – Jessie J
Domino seemed to conquer the UK charts this year, and quite rightly so. What, perhaps, this song lacks in its verses, it quite makes up for in its chorus.
Jessie J releases her new music in 2013…I wonder if any of it will live up to the excellence of this song?
ï¿½ 16.Euphoria – Loreen
Now, I watch Eurovision almost every year (one year I didn’t watch it because the UK act was so terribly awful I didn’t want to watch it out of national pride) but the fact that two tracks performed this year on Eurovision are included on this list could perhaps be a sign that Eurovision is finally becoming a breeding ground for awesome European pop music?
Or perhaps Euphoria is just so amazing it had to win?
I think that’s a more likely reason.
Now, you cannot just go and listen to the edited version of this song. No. For some strange reason, Christina Aguilera decided to not release the explicit version of Your Body, but it would have been a much better decision if she had.
The explicit version of this song, and most of the time this is not always the case, just makes the song excel. Ironically, the meaning of the song can only really be viewed through the swear word.
Swearing in this case makes a good song great. And what a great song it is.
ï¿½ 14. La La Love – Ivi Adamou
Another Eurovision entry now and this time with a lot more drums and ‘la la la’s’ than Euphoria. I don’t know why this clearly brilliant song came only 16th out of the entire Eurovision Song Contest.
It really is a very, very excellent song indeed. Eurovision, I now salute you.
ï¿½ 13. Die Young – Ke$ha
Now, this is a song that has crept up on me in terms of me fully realising its brilliance. The first time I heard this, I was a bit disappointed. I mean, Ke$ha had previously claimed her second album would be the ‘evolution of pop’. Well, technically this is a mix of TiK ToK and We R Who We R just with a lot more drums.
But now I realise the drums make it much, much better than it would be otherwise. And the last 40 seconds of this song. Life. Changing.
ï¿½ 12. Curiosity – Carly Rae Jepsen
Thanks to a song that will be mentioned further on in this list, we were introduced to the brilliant CRJ, or as I have now christened her ‘Jeppo’, and her quite amazing debut album Kiss. It was choice between this song and another called This Kiss to include on the list.
Why was this chosen? Because I find the line “I’m gonna follow you home, in the rain” a very very useful line which is sung beautifully in the song, no matter how weird it may look when typed out in full…
ï¿½ 11. Something New – Girls Aloud
This just missed out a spot in the top 10 because of the awful shouting at the beginning and the fact that Nadine does look very annoying in the video.
But aside from that, the Aloud returned with style with ‘something new’ if you get my drift.
The best bit of this excellent song is obviously the Follow The Leader bit at the end.
Now, most of you may not have heard of Porcelain Black, if you haven’t shame on you, and if you have I most gladly pat you on the back for you have discovered one of modern pop’s hidden gems.
For those of who don’t know, Porcelain Black describes her music as a mix between Britney Spears and Marilyn Manson.
You can see that thesis here, where radio-friendly pop choruses are mixed in with heavy rock guitars.
This song is ever so exciting. Therefore you must love it.
If you’ve ever listened to Radio 1 then you’ve no doubt heard this song, because over there at Radio 1 they do seem to love it.
And for good reason.
This is a ballad, 2012 style.
What can I say? This song somehow completely transformed my view of Taylor Swift from country bumpkin to pop princess.
And she is never ever ever getting back together with her ex…
ï¿½ 7. Pyramids – Frank Ocean
This 10 minute song could put many people off by being so long but, in actual fact, the musical perfection on display here makes it whizz by. But if you’re going to listen to any part of it, listen to the first 3 minutes.
I’ve always loved Marina and I very, very proud to see this track getting the attention it so deserved, as well as the masterpiece of the album Electra Heart hitting the number one spot in the UK.
In a few words; this song is very, very very good.
Song of our generation.
ï¿½ 4. Controversy – Natalia Kills
Natalia Kills, aside from Lady GaGa, is my favourite artist of all time ever. Her album Perfectionist and its singles were so overlooked it hurt.
But all that changed when Kills released a sample of her 2013 album, Trouble, online in the form of Controversy. A very Azealia Banks-esque feel to this track and it’s quite frankly amazing. Listen to it. Love it.
I can see Taylor Swift sitting down and deciding that, never mind that she just went all bubblegum pop on us, that she would dabble in dubstep.
‘Taylor Swift and dubstep?!’ We all cried. ‘’Tis like chalk and cheese. Will. Not. Work.’
Well, how wrong we were, eh?
Never doubted you, Taylor. Never.
ï¿½ 2. Brokenhearted – Karmin
I didn’t know who Karmin were or where they came from before this track but it’s just so infectiously pop and so brilliantly brilliant that it just can’t be ignored.
Possible pop perfection? Damn near close, I’d say.
And so, after 20 the number 1 song of 2012 is…
ï¿½ 1. 212 – Azealia Banks
Ever since I’ve heard this song I’ve known it was the song of 2012. There’s just something inherently brilliant, whether it be the Lazy Jay beat or Azealia’s far-too-relaxed rapping style.
It could be the fastest, rudest song I’ve ever heard. But I love it. And after a year of listening to it, I now know all the words to it.
So challenge me to a rap battle, I dare you.
But 212 is just the beginning for Azealia, I can see it now. And what a beginning, eh?
Because I had to give my favourite song a name drop, OK.
Listen, if you haven’t heard this song then it is quite frankly the most amazing thing you will ever hear. Ever.
From the guitars to the way Natalia Kills sings the chorus, it’s all just pop at its most brilliant best.
Image: Chez Nectarine
Related Article: National Music Day