Top 100 Songs of 2012 (100-76)

Pop goes 2012 (or 2012 goes Pop, depending on your syntactical druthers) is one accurate way of describing the musical zeitgeist of the year. Like I always do, and have done since as long as I can recall, I’ve Embraced The Pop. From unadulterated teeny-bop pop, to sax pop, to Spurs’ Coach Pop, to soda pop, to synth pop, there’s been a tonne of pop to get cozy with recently. And the revelatory thing is that much of it has been really, really good. I can’t recall a year where so many “designed to hit” pop songs have been fantastic. Sure, some pop, maybe a whole bunch depending on the platform(s) from which you get your music, is lifeless and dull and space-clogging shite. But that goes for all music really, and of all forms of pop culture too. It saddens me a little that many people choose to focus on trite pop and paint the entire genre (or amalgam of sub-genres as it were) with an unnecessary-, superfluous-coloured brush. I love reading lists, and seeing what other people have found great in a given year, but it strikes me as uninteresting at best and dishonest at worst when lists that purport to be the “best of” an entire year make a point of ignoring so much from the jump. A great song is a great song, and can be so for a variety of reasons. My list is welcoming to all types of songs; I’ll take your coat, but you’ve got to bring your own hooks if you want to come inside.

2012 has been such a good year for music (the best I would say since I started thinking about listing songs back in 2006), that I’ve had to tweak the rules a little bit to shine a light on all the songs that deserve to have a light (however small) shone on them.  I’ve decided to make my 2012 list The Year of Partnerships, or as 1997 would say, collabos. As such, many songs on this list have partner songs, just so I can fit in all of the year’s goodness without hating myself, so “Top 100” is a loose directive that’s massaged a few times during the proceedings. As far as the actual rankings go, the process was almost like throwing darts. A song that ranked in the 90’s could be argued for in the 20’s, and a song in the 60’s could be a top 10 song in another year. But this is not another year, this is 2012, the year where Psy Gangnam-Styled his was into our hearts and ears, Mitt Romneyed his way into a solid 2nd place finish, Usain Bolted his way onto golden Olympus Mountain, Cats cemented their role as world policy deciders and undisputed internet champions, Felix Baumgartner jumped off the top rope for a massive Jimmy Superfly Snuka flying elbow, and the world ended in a Blaze of Glory, just like Bon Jovi Nostradamused, twenty-something years ago… which brings me back on point — I want to get this list out before literally, Pop Goes The World (

Here is the first part of my Top 100 Songs of 2012 list, beginning with tracks that fell just short.

Honourable mention: Alanis Morisette – Empathy; Alberta Cross – Lay Down; Animal Kingdom – Strange Attractor;  Ben Howard – Only Love/Esmerelda; Boys Noize – Got It (f. Snoop Dogg/OS Snoop Lion); Breton – Jostle; The Boom Circuits – Everything and Nothing; California Wives – Purple; Chrome Canyons – Generations; Danny Brown – Grown Up; Eels – Peach Blossom; Flo Rida f. Sia – Wild Ones; Fun. – Some Nights; Future Islands – Crish (Javelin remixxx)/Cotton Flower; Green Day – Let Yourself Go/Fell For You/Wild One/Amy; How to Destroy Angels – On The Wing; Julio Bashmore – Troglodytes; Kate Boy – Northern Lights; Katy B. – Anywhere In The World; Kesha vs. The Beatles – Tik Tok Together; Lana Del Rey – Body Electric; Lawrence Arabia – Apple Pie Bed; Lifehouse f. Natasha Bedingfield – Between The Raindrops; Lioness – The Night; Linkin Park – Burn It Down/Castle Of Glass; The Lumineers – Ho Hey; Mac Miller – Donald Trump/Knock Knock; Madonna – Gang Bang; Major Lazer – Get Free; Maps & Atlases – Important/Fever; Morning Parade – Youth/Headlights; Mother Mother – Let’s Fall In Love; MYPET – Pays To Know; The Neighbourhood – Sweater Weather; Nicki Minaj – Freedom; One Direction – One Thing/More Than This/I Wish/Tell Me A Lie/Stole My Heart; Our Lady Peace – Heavyweight; Parade – Light Me Up; Passenger – Let Her Go; Phantogram – Don’t Move; Plants and Animals – Lightshow; Purity Ring – Obedear; Red Hot Chili Peppers – Magpies On Fire; Santigold – Disparate Youth; Six Organs of Admittance – Hold But Let Go; Schoolboy Q – There He Go; The Tallest Man on Earth – Leading Me Now; Tame Impala – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards; Tomas Barfod f. Nina Kinert – November Skies; The Tragically Hip – At Transformation/About This Map; Twin Shadow – Five Seconds; Villagers – Nothing Arrived; The Wanted – Glad You Came; Walk The Moon – Anna Sun; Yacht Club – Flash; Zammuto – YAY; Donkeyboy – Caught In a Life.

100. a) A.C. Newman – I’m Not Talking


100. b) Death Grips – I’ve Seen Footage

99. Letting Up Despite Faults – Bulletproof Girl

98. a) Saint Lou Lou – Maybe You


98. b) Chase & Status f. Takura & Mac Miller – Flashing Lights

97. A Place To Bury Strangers – So Far Away/Onwards To The Wall

96. a) Sleigh Bells – Born to Lose

96. b) The Smashing Pumpkins – Inkless

95. A Fine Frenzy – Now Is The Start


94. Horrid Red – Nightly Wreaths (Suite)


93. Fang Island – Sisterly/Asunder

92. a) The Rocket Summer – Old Love

92. b) Blondfire – Where The Kids Are/Waves/Hide and Seek


91. Serebro – Mama Luba


90. a) Shearwater – Animal Life/You As You Were/Dread Sovereign


90. b) A Silent Film – Danny, Dakota, and The Wishing Well


89. Yellowcard – Southern Air/Telescope/Awakening

88. a) The Used – Together Burning Bright

88. b) Imagine Dragons – It’s Time/Demons


87. John Frusciante – In My Light/Sum

86. a) Dispatch – Circles Around The Sun


86. b) Smoke & Jackal – Fall Around

85.  Chairlift – I Belong In Your Arms

84. a) Dragonette – Lay Low/Let It Go/Live In This City


84. b) Eight and a Half – Go Ego


83. The Maccabees – Ayla/Pelican/Bag of Bones (Part B)


82. a) Yeasayer – Devil and The Deed/Glass of The Microscope

82. b) Ms Mr – Hurricane


81. Wildlife Control – Analog or Digital


80. a) Passion Pit – Take a Walk


80. b) The Chevin – Blue Eyes


79. Kendrick Lamar – The Art of Peer Pressure


78. a) Jai Paul – Jasmine

78. b) Alexandra Stan – Lemonade


77. Taylor Swift – Red/Everything Has Changed (f. Ed Sheeran)/I Knew You Were Trouble


76. a) Baroness – March To The Sea


76. b) Tenacious D – Rize of The Fenix

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