Billboard Critics’ Pick : 20 Best Song Of 2012

Best of 2012

A year of singles has come and gone, but when it came time for the staff to choose our 20 favorites we thought, fought and lobbied — and most of all we listened. These 20 tunes cover the gamut from hip-hop (Nas, G.O.O.D. Music) and pop (Carly Rae Jepsen) to country (Love and Theft) and rock (Bruce Springsteen), but we all agree they’re 2012’s best.


Feel So Close” Calvin Harris

CALVIN HARRISEDM wizard and “We Found Love” maestro stepped out on his own and scored.


“Bad Girls” M.I.A.

M.I.A.We’re still waiting for that fourth full-length, but this whiz-bang one-off single almost made us forget the Super Bowl debacle… almost.


“Elephant” Tame Impala

TAME IMPALAStandout from indie rockers’ “Lonerism” album rumbles along with melodies that Paul McCartney would appreciate.


“Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)” Ne-Yo

NE-YOAfter his “Libra Scale” misstep, Ne-Yo returned in full force with an ode to much-needed support (see: song title).


“You’re The One” Charli XCX

CHARLI XCXU.K. pop auteur released a string of dazzle pop singles this year, none quite as fluttering as this synth-laden love song.


“Wrecking Ball” Bruce Springsteen

BRUCE SPRINGSTEENThe Boss soldiers on, fists clenched, and hollers “Bring on your wrecking ball!” For those who thought his last few albums underwhelmed, “Wrecking Ball” proved that the fire was back.


“Bye Baby” Nas

NASA startlingly vivid portrayal of a dissolved marriage, with Nasty Nas lobbing both potshots and heartfelt memories at Kelis.


“Angel Eyes” Love And Theft

LOVE AND THEFTIn a year full of strong country singles, Love and Theft crafted a repeatedly enjoyable ode to a rebellious female heart.


“Wildest Moments” Jessie Ware

JESSIE WAREFor many people, “Wildest Moments” served as the ideal introduction to Jessie Ware, its thwacking drums and quivering emotion inviting listeners to dig deeper into this sublime new artist.


“The House That Heaven Built” Japandroids

JAPANDROIDSJapandroids’ “Celebration Rock” album lives up to its title, and “Heaven” is the moment the duo graces the upper reaches of its ideals, one “Oh-OH-oh-oh-oh-oh” at a time.


What Makes You Beautiful” One Direction

ONE DIRECTIONThe boy band resurgence of 2012 would not have been half as fun if its crown jewel, 1D’s “What Makes You Beautiful,” hadn’t been so delectable. And yes, hair flips get us overwhelmed, too.


“Everything Is Embarrassing” Sky Ferreira

SKY FERREIRAAn out-of-nowhere sensation stuffed as the last song on an EP, “Everything Is Embarrassing” captures the sensitivity of flirtation through unabashedly warm hooks. Look out for Sky Ferreira.


“Thinkin Bout You” Frank Ocean

FRANK OCEANMr. Ocean landed on this list last year with “Novacane,” but the first song on “Channel Orange” switched up the tempo by featuring soaring falsetto in between white lies told to an object of his affection.


“Somebody That I Used To Know” Gotye feat. Kimbra

Sure, the words “Peter” and “Gabriel” will always be cynically tied to this unexpected No. 1, but Gotye and Kimbra synthesized forgotten styles and turned them into something fresh and unforgetta — sorry, didn’t mean to cut you off.


“Begin Again” Taylor Swift

TAYLOR SWIFT“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” was the Max Martin-helmed pop celebration, but the quiet moments of this follow-up single — from the restrained chorus to the James Taylor shout-out — allowed Swift to reach a heretofore unheard level of maturity.


“Adorn” Miguel

MIGUEL“Fresh” is the word best used to describe “Adorn,” a song that was originally released in Miguel’s “Art Dealer Chic” series and elongated for maximum radio enjoyment. The sound is wildly original for R&B, but the romantic sentiments are strictly old-school.


“Some Nights” fun.

FUNA song that unfolds like “We Are Young” on steroids, “Some Nights” legitimized fun. as fearless, with absolutely absurd lyrics, no real chorus and an Auto-tuned breakdown. Somehow, it all works.


“Mercy” G.O.O.D. Music

KANYE WEST AND GOOD MUSICThe summer’s biggest hip-hop beat is a bull in a china shop, smashing through Big Sean ass puns, seething Kanye rants and the Michael Jordan similes of Mr. 2 Chainz. This hip-hop summit still knocks.


“Call Me Maybe” Carly Rae Jepsen

CARLY RAE JEPSENWhat, you’ve never heard of this one? Well, it’s a charming pop ditty from Canada that imagines a world where people still use telephones and strings should be included in every Top 40 refrain. “Call Me Maybe” took over everything in the summer of 2012, and it deserved to.


“Climax” Usher

USHERTeaming up with Diplo freed Usher’s mind and falsetto, as “Climax” reminded the pop universe just how adept Mr. Raymond is at concocting slow jams. “Climax” is about a breakup, of course, but its immaculate production and tender vocal performance washed away any sadness from listeners.

There! Are these your pick for Best Song Of 2012 too?

Related link.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s