The 11 Best Songs of 2012

My friend, fellow blogger and podcast-mate Graham released a list of the best hit songs of 2012 (in his opinion). Since I am allergic to originality, I have decided to do a similar article. However, this will differ in three fundamental ways. Firstly, I will not be sticking just to hits, because hits are determined by what the majority thinks is good, and the majority is very stupid. Secondly, I’m not going to say that this is just my opinion because it goes without saying that a list with one ranking music will be completely subjective, thus making the disclaimer a superfluous one whose only purpose is to shield the most easily offended music fan’s feelings this list is the gospel truth and if you disagree with it, you’re wrong. Thirdly, this list goes to eleven. Anyway, here’s the list.

11: Some Nights – fun.

Give me a second I, I just need to get something straight, the first song I heard from fun. was We Are Young, which I really hate. I was ready to write these wankerish Queen wannabe hipsters off completely. Then I heard this song, and I decided that these wankerish Queen wannabe hipsters had at least one really good song in them. Graham went a bit more in depth than I did in his own article, so go read that or something.

10: Nothing To Lose – K’Naan featuring Nas

I’ve been a fan of K’Naan for a long time, and I’ve been a fan of Nas for longer. It hasn’t always been easy, though. Nas has had quite a few stinker albums, and to be honest, K’Naan’s feud with k-os was particularly petty for me…and much of the stuff K’Naan put out this year was sub-par. This song, however, resonated with me. This is a song about triumph, defiance and perseverance, and given what these men overcame and where they ended up, it is an inspirational song. Perhaps the most inspirational song of the year, really. Also, it’s just tight, man. Yes, K’Naan fumbles a little at one point, but he begins and ends very solidly, and Nas is just on fire, man.

9: Swimming Pools (Drank) – Kendrick Lamar

Hey, idiots that say that hip hop is all about bitches & bling? Here you go. Now shut the fuck up.
Hey, idiots that want hip hop to be smarter? You should have bought this song on iTunes. Hell, you still can. Go do it, now.
Anyway, this is smart, powerful, it has a good message and ironically, it’s an anti-drinking song that’s being played in clubs a lot. People are taking shots to the “drank” parts. Fucking hell, I hate people some times.

8: Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepson

Look, this is a cute and catchy song, alright? DON’T JUDGE ME!
Also, this represents something beautiful. No, not young love. Redemption. You know who brought this actually very good song to the forefront? Justin Bieber, by tweeting about it and releasing a lip synch video of this song with Selena Gomez. It was literally the first good thing he did ever (as far as I know) and he followed that up with a bunch of good deeds. Bad music, yes, but good deeds, like visiting sick fans in the hospital and publicly disrespecting our borderline fascist Prime Minister by wearing overalls when he met him. In other words, this song represents Bieber growing as a person, going from a terrible musician to a good person who makes terrible music. And that’s a…well, not a beautiful thing, but it’s a nice thing, at least.

7: Gangam Style – PSY

Look, we’ve all heard this song a few hundred times, and we all know why it got popular. But you know what? I don’t care about the stupid fucking horsey dance or the music video that’s only mildly funny. I like the song. It is fun, upbeat, and awesome. I don’t care that it’s in Korean, it is fun. That’s all I need.

6: Murderers Are Getting Prettier Every Day – Marilyn Manson

Remember when Marilyn Manson made music that was provocative as well as really good? Well, it seems Manson himself remembered that and transported himself back to that time, mentally. The whole of the Born Villain album felt like a throwback to classic Manson. We saw glimpses of a creative resurgence in Manson’s previous album, The High End Of Low (particularly in the track Running To The Edge Of The World, the band’s best ballad ever) but this one was even better. This is the album longtime fans have been waiting for. This song is the one that combines poignant social commentary and quality music best of all of them. All I can say is welcome back, Manson.

5: N***** in Paris – Jay Z & Kanye West

Few songs this year were as plain fun as this one. Not only that, but the music video, which utilized a live recording that was more energetic than the studio cut, made the song feel like a momentous event. And, well, it is. This is the best rap song of the year, and the year was pretty good for urban music in general. Hell, 4 of my top 10 songs are rap, even if one of them is in Korean.

While I’m on the subject…black people, we need to have a talk. This “taking back the N word” thing has to stop. It isn’t working, it’s perpetuating the use of a word that would go the way of a dozen or so other slurs otherwise, and it makes people who aren’t black feel self conscious when singing along to some of their favourite songs. It also meant I had to censor this article to keep the site from being blocked by search engines. Furthermore, there’s a set of impossibly complex rules about the use of the word. Some black people have told me “anyone can use the word as long as it’s not a racial insult”, others have said “anyone who isn’t white can use it”, others have said “only black people can use it”, others have said “no one can use it” or “only if you’re quoting or talking about the word”…meanwhile, I’ve personally seen several white people using the word casually, something that I’d not have expected a decade ago. Why can’t we just say that this experiment has failed and just quit it?

4: Somebody That I Used To Know – Gotye

Look, I love this song, you love this song, your grandma loves this song, my grandma loves this song and she died before it came out. If there’s a list of “best songs of 2012” somewhere that doesn’t have this song, then the list was made by someone with no ears. Actually, somewhere in mid 2012, I picked my mom up, and a fight started. We were pissed off at each other for…something, I forget. This song came on the mp3 player hooked to my van’s stereo, and she quickly said “hey, I really like this song.” By the first chorus the fight had ended and we were both singing along. That’s the power of music for ya. And that’s all that has to be said about this.

3: The entire Resolution album by Lamb of God

Yeah, the whole fucking album. It’s my list, deal with it. Besides, if I didn’t do it like this, half the album would have been on the list. This was one monster of an album, and it’s sad that the main story from Lamb of God this year was Randy Bylthe being charged with manslaughter. But seriously, in an age where albums are going the way of the VHS, they made an album that’s best listened to as an album, and it paid off. Go get this thing now. I embedded the official music video but my personal favourite is either the brutal Cheated or the introspective, experimental and honest King Me.

2: Fashion Monster – Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

This song is fun and creative, the music video is easily the best I’ve seen from 2012, and honestly, the only reason I didn’t put it at #1 is because I only heard it a week ago and I’m not sure if this song will stay with me like the #1 has. It’s a song about personal freedom and creativity, and it’s upbeat and very danceable, even if the dance is difficult.
There is one thing I wanted to bring up here: this idea that Japan is weird. Aside from the vaguely racist tone of that particular meme, the fact is that it just isn’t true. Look at the music video up there. I’ve been told that was weird. Was it? Well, yeah. But was it more weird than this music video? Or this one? Or this thing? Do people see those videos and say “Americans are weird”? In general, no. They say Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Kanye West are weird. So why is it that this video (and Kyary’s arguably more well known song PonPonPon) elicit the reaction that “Japan is so weird”? I mean, hell, most of the most widely cited “weird” stuff from Japan like tentacle hentai and used schoolgirl panty vending machines are either really fringe or illegal (selling used panties has been illegal in Japan since the 1970s). And a lot of the other stuff is present in western culture, like crazy game shows (please try to tell me that the Tila Tequila`s game show, Survivor and Fear Factor aren’t crazy and weird while keeping a straight face) and crazy cartoons. And hell, Otaku culture isn’t all that weird compared to American nerd culture. My Little Pony, anyone? Anyway, the point is that Japan isn’t weirder than any other country, overall, so knock it off, everyone.

1: Breath of Life – Florence + the Machine

This is a song from a good movie. Not a great movie, mind you, but a good one. This song is great. It’s so great that my friend Zena used this song at her wedding in December. She recognized the greatness of the song, and so did most people I know who have listened to it.  But you know how high this song charted? 87. On the UK singles chart only. You remember when I said the majority is very, very stupid? Yeah. Rihanna’s collaborations with her assailant charted higher than this fucking masterpiece. Go fuck yourself, humanity.

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