75. a) Lower Dens – Brains
The best, most earwormy song on Nootropics.
75. b) Young Galaxy – Youth Is Wasted On The Young
Can’t wait for their next LP. Appetite whetted just enough with “Youth is Wasted On The Young”.
74. Citizens! – True Romance (Gigamesh remix)
So catchy. Much more compelling than the original IMO. Hercules and Love Affair vs. La Roux vs. Erasure.
73. a) The Big Pink – Stay Gold
The only song (and a very good one at that) worth mentioning from Future This. Had huge hopes for their 2nd LP. On to the next one boys.
73. b) Rita Ora – How We Do (Party)
One of the better pop tunes of 2012.
72. Azari & III – Manic/Reckless (With Your Love)
“Manic” and “Reckless (With Your Love)” are both fantastic dance/house tracks from the Toronto collective.
71. Shad – A Milli Vanilli/It Ain’t Over
Taken aback by the phenomenal sample work in both tracks. Lenny would be proud of “It Ain’t Over”.
70. Best Coast – No One Like You
Sweet, sweet neo-soul/pop. I can’t believe how good they perform this song live.
69. a) Usher – Climax
Great production by Diplo and vocal by Usher. His best in a while.
69. b) Placebo – The Extra
The best song on their B3 EP, it’s a sonic departure for Placebo, one I hope they follow up on with their 2013 LP.
68. The Vaccines – Teenage Icon
Whether it’s immediate or a slow dig, this song will attack you. I really enjoy their take on jangly alternative/pop.
67. Robbie Williams – Into The Silence
Robbie does U2 and The Killers. He’s never done a song like this before, and I’m so glad he finally has. Robbie’s vocal and the production are both exemplary.
66. Wild Nothing – Paradise/Nocturne
The 80’s in stereo. Flighty, dreamy records, both of them.
65. a) The Antlers – Drift Drive
Still haven’t lost their grand emoting abilities. What a hook.
65. b) Atlas Genius – Trojans
Wickedly catchy. Wonderful tune.
64. High Contrast – The Road Goes On Forever/All There Is (f. Liane Carroll)
Bursting at their seams. Or more likely, they never had seams to begin with.
63. Ellie Goulding – Atlantis/Figure 8/Only You
Ms. Goulding issued one of the best pop albums of the year — maybe one of the best albums of the year in general.
62. a) Matchbox 20 – She’s So Mean
Great comeback tune. Always were extremely talented songwriters. No surprise they’ve found another.
62. b) Marina & The Diamonds – The Archetypes/Primadonna/Fear and Loathing/Teen Idle
“Primadonna”, “Fear and Loathing”, and “Teen Idle” are by far the strongest triumvirate of songs on Marina’s Electra Heart album, but it’s actually a non-album track, the minute long teaser, “The Archetypes”, that moved me the most. I really wish she’d made this an album track as it’s constructed here, but longer.
61. Muse – Panic Station/Big Freeze/Follow Me
After “Madness”, which resides in another realm altogether, these three tracks are the best representatives of the new Muse, the most ambitious Muse to date.
60. Ramona Falls – Proof/Sqworm/Spore
Lovely set of songs.
59. a) Tacabro – Tacata
How could I not. Guilty pleasures don’t get more guilty than this. This is unquestionably 10-15 years, no chance of parole.
59. b) Susanne Sundfor – White Foxes
What a majestic song. It sounds exactly like a serenade to white foxes.
58. Two Door Cinema Club – Sleep Alone/The World Is Watching
Super strong lead single, and a wonderful departure from their norm on “The World Is Watching”.
57. Ed Sheeran – Drunk/Small Bump/Lego House
Three fantastic songs from one of the albums of the year. And three great videos to boot. Ed Sheeran’s way with melody is sublime.
56. a) Hey Ocean! – Big Blue Wave/Make A New Dance Up
I wish this kind of pop found a bigger audience.
56. b) Joe Goddard – Gabriel (f. Valentina)
Striking. Superb use of looping/sampling.
55. a) Rihanna – Diamonds
She might have taken an extended dip in the deep end, but she still can still release a hit. A powerful, grandiose tune.
55. b) No Doubt – Settle Down
It’d been 11 years since their last LP. To come back to a vastly different musical landscape from the one they left all those years ago with something this strong is a testament to their cohesion and talent. You can tell they’re having tonnes of fun being back together.
54. The Killers – From Here On Out/The Way It Was/Deadlines and Commitments/Heart of a Girl
I think the line from Deadlines and Commitments, “there is a place, here in this house, that you can stay,” is apropos of Battle Born, and in general, The Killers as a band. They’re slightly awkward in the way they express things, but they’re welcoming, of everyone. These four tracks are all highlights from a strong, extremely consistent, huge pop/rock album.
53. mewithoutYou – February, 1878
Really like this song. It’s full of dynamic shifts, energy, aggression, forbearance, and hooks.
52. a) Greg Laswell f. Ingrid Michaelson – Landline
Tender and becoming. The male/female harmony works wonders here.
52. b) Netsky – Come Alive
Great party track with a supreme build-up from Belgium’s son. To the (Net)sky and beyond.
51. a) We Have Band – Tired of Running
First-rate melody, production, and vocal.
51. b) St. Lucia – All Eyes On You
Marvellous song. Rife with hooks and shimmering production.