You might wish to start at the beginning of this Top 40 series if you missed it.
Continuing from last post… This particular list is of favorite songs I listened to in 2012, allowing no more than one song by any artist in the list. I’ve restricted my list to tracks released in 2012 if the artist in question released any tracks in 2012. Otherwise, I went back to 2011 or, in one exceptional case in my top 10, back to 2008.
Here then is my list of favorite tracks played on my music player in 2012. In this fourth of four posts, I list tracks #10 to #1.
#10: The Ting Tings – Give It Back
The album Sounds From Nowheresville was a much anticipated album for me. Having fallen in love with the sound of The Ting Tings on their 2008 album, We Started Nothing, I was ready for more music in the same style. Sounds From Nowheresville feels more experimental in nature and I’m not so crazy about a couple of the tracks, but I can allow The Ting Tings their indulgences. While their defining hit may remain That’s Not My Name, they still have a lot of music in them, and I’m glad they brought some of it out and shared with the rest of us in 2012. I hope they don’t wait as long for album number three, but I know they will take the time to make it as perfect as they can, too.
#9: Fiona Apple – Hot Knife
The minimalist approach to music works for some artists. It worked for Fiona Apple with her 2012 release, although there is nothing minimalist about the album title: The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do. My favorite track from the album, Hot Knife, has many musical layers to it, which I find more intriguing than the album’s single, Every Single Night.
#8: Cher Lloyd – Playa Boi
After I heard some of Cher Lloyd’s music and had purchased her 2012 album, Sticks & Stones, I looked up some facts about her. She was a fourth place contestant on some reality show over in the UK. Whatever. I don’t know who she competed against or how good they were, but I like her music, and love love love the track Playa Boi. The song is based on one of my favorite 80s songs, Buffalo Stance by Neneh Cherry. Props to Cher Lloyd for bringing us a modernized version of a classic hip-hop song.
#7: Demi Lovato – Get Back
Demi Lovato didn’t have a 2012 album release. Her most recent album, Unbroken, was released in 2011. I listened to Unbroken some during 2012, but the one Demi Lovato track that I play over and over, year after year, is Get Back, from the 2008 album Don’t Forget. Although the song was released back in 2008, I can’t get enough of it. Sometimes I get in this mood where I want to listen to Get Back on repeat and listen to it all freakin’ day long. So while I like some of Demi’s other songs, including the wonderful Skyscraper, I have to list Get Back as my favorite Demi Lovato track for 2012, even if it’s four years old. I considered ranking it at #1, but it didn’t seem right to rank it that high when this is supposed to be a list for 2012. The #7 spot will have to suffice.
#6: Mazzy Star – Lay Myself Down
I was hoping for a Mazzy Star full-length studio album release in 2012. I didn’t see it. But they had released a couple of new songs in 2011. I didn’t find out about them until 2012. So I listened the hell out of them this past year. The track Common Burn was intended as the single, but I prefer the more subtle and dreamy Lay Myself Down.
#5: Garbage – The One
Yet another classic band who came back with a great album in 2012. Not Your Kind Of People is classic Garbage while being new at the same time. The One is a rocking song that also reminds me of Shirley Manson’s stint as a robot on a too-short-lived television show. But Manson’s vocals are the real draw, and not just on The One, but all of he tracks on the album. As a side note, I found the eponymous Angelfish album on Amazon, and it’s also full of tracks with Manson’s vocals. Love it, and played it a lot during 2012. I didn’t include it on this list because it’s from last century, 1994. But if you haven’t heard Angelfish and you like Garbage, you should check out the album.
#4: Marina & The Diamonds – Bubblegum Bitch
Overall, I listened to Electra Heart, the 2012 album release from Marina & The Diamonds, more than any other album in 2012. There’s not one bad song on the album. If this list were based on my favorite albums rather than my favorite tracks, Electra Heart would have ranked at #1. Bubblegum Bitch appeals to my irreverent, tongue-in-cheek side. Yes, I have such a side. But I don’t have liquor lips.
#3: Dragonette – My Legs
Some of Dragonette’s earlier songs, namely Jesus Doesn’t Love Me and Black Limousine, from the album Galore, are two of my all-time favorite tracks, by any artist. But Dragonette’s 2012 album, Bodyparts, is my overall favorite Dragonette album. My Legs is a favorite not only because of its outstanding vocals or how danceable it is, but also because I adore its lyrics. The album name, Bodyparts, is most appropriate for My Legs, and not just because of the track’s title.
#2: Halestorm – Love Bites (So Do I)
I discovered Halestorm by browsing YouTube. When I saw the video for Love Bites (So Do I), I fell in love with the song immediately, and had to hear more from the band. Lzzy is a screamer, and I like screamers when the screaming hits the right notes. After I purchased the album, The Strange Case Of…, I was playing some of the songs from the album in the car, and I left the CD in the player. My wife took the car out next, and the CD started playing automatically. I didn’t expect her to like Halestorm’s music, but she surprised me by asking me about the artist and saying how much she liked the songs. Her favorite track from the album is You Call Me a Bitch Like It’s a Bad Thing. If she and I were younger, we would have gone to a Halestorm concert when they were in Orlando recently. They are so good. On another note, the video for Love Bites is my favorite video of 2012.
#1: Siobhan Magnus – Pure Inspiration
Did I mention that I like screamers? The ultimate American Idol screamer was Siobhan Magnus. That was at a time when I was still watching American Idol. The show on which she was voted off was my last time watching AI. I just couldn’t take it anymore. So many of my AI favorites were being voted off, season after season, I finally figured out the show was too stressful for me to continue watching. But I’m glad I was introduced to a number of AI contestants who have managed to release music since their stint on AI, such as Stevie Scott, Leslie Hunt, Carrie Underwood, Katherine McPhee, Didi Benami, and Siobhan Magnus. And if you like screamers, give a listen to Siobhan’s Pure Inspiration from the album Moonbaby. She reaches heights with that song that exceed anything she did on AI. The lyrics are inspiring too, living up to the track title.
Here’s a playlist with the above songs, #10-1. Some of the songs in the playlist may be live versions or otherwise not the same as the MP3 versions.
So there you have my list of favorite artists and songs I listened to in 2012. Thank you for reading all the way to the end. I am compelled to write these yearly lists—I can’t not write them. But if someone out there enjoyed reading this list as much as I enjoyed writing it, that would be sweet. Maybe you can leave me a comment and let me know what you think of my picks, whether you agree with me at least in part or totally disagree with me.
Catch you in 2013.