I don’t know if it’s a function of getting older with having less free time, but I find my music listening habits have made the transition from albums to almost completely track-based playlists. Part of it is due to the dearth of truly great albums by artists nowadays, and part of it is the simple fact that the best songs are often head and shoulders ahead of the other cuts on the LP.
So after being reminded by the Grammy’s last night that lists are fun to make and discuss, here’s my top 10 list of tracks from 2012 in no particular order. Some of these may look a little dated just by the nature of pop culture riding songs into the ground, but at the end of the day, my main criteria for a great song is the desire to hear it again after listening to it.
- Walk The Moon – Anna Sun | Every time I hear this song, I just want to sing along – one of the most infectiously happy songs I’ve heard in a long time.
- Usher – Climax | Next-level R&B by producer Diplo and Usher. Fun fact: there’s no actual climax or chorus in this song.
- fun. – We Are Young | It’s an anthem perfectly made for graduating high-school seniors or those who wish they were there again.
- Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks | Pop-folk from Iceland that always makes me envision life surrounded by rolling green hills.
- Gossip – Perfect World | Imagine if Adele was in an indie-pop band and you might get something like this song.
- Frank Ocean – Pyramids | Speaking of next-level R&B, this 9:33 long epic is so musically interesting and layered, that I rarely notice it being too long.
- The Gaslight Anthem – Here Comes My Man | Maybe the video with Elisha Cuthbert is biasing me, but something about a good old-fashioned rock song with some “Shalalalas” appealed to me.
- Japandroids – The House That Heaven Built | Just imagine hearing this song on a warm summer day outside rocking out alongside your best friends. This song was made for arenas.
- PSY – Gangnam Style | I’m sure we’re all sick of this by now, but man, when I first saw the video for this song I literally had it on repeat for weeks. Frankly, I still get OP OP OP OPOP in my head randomly.
- Cloud Nothings – Stay Useless | You don’t hear rock like this anymore, it’s got the raw energy of early 90’s alterna-grunge with the catchiness of a proto-Weezer. Yes, I just made up two hyphenated words.
Thanks to the magic of Spotify, sharing these lists got a whole lot easier. Check it out below: