Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My favorite songs of 2012...

Music is a gigantic part of my life. I sing almost anywhere—the car, the shower, even in my office sometimes&#151. As I've mentioned countless times before, I have more than 22,000 songs on my iPod. It's the largest model Apple makes, and when I run out of space, I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I can't imagine having to jettison music from it, even if it will still exist in the cloud or on my laptop. I mean, how can you predict when you'll have the strongest urge to listen to Broken Wings by Mr. Mister or the soundtrack to American Idiot?

I started thinking about the songs I've listened to most this year. While my taste generally hews toward pop, alternative, and singer/songwriter-type genres, I listen to every type of music, and the songs that kept being played over and over and over again are fairly diverse.

To pick just 20 songs was difficult, so this is by no means a compilation of my musical tastes. And if you're more musically highbrow than I am, well, good for you.

In no particular order, here are my favorite songs of 2012. I've linked a YouTube video to the title of each song.

1. Never Had by Oscar Isaac: I absolutely loved the high school reunion movie 10 Years, and this song by Oscar Isaac, who played one of the friends whose song hit it big in the music world, was one of the many reasons why. Listen to the song and see the movie.

2. If It Wasn't for You by Various Cruelties: I have to thank one of my favorite bloggers, Kenneth Walsh of kenneth in the (212) for this recommendation, which he included as part of his "Song of the Day" feature on his blog. I love everything about this song, even now when it's used on commercials.

3. Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men: This is a terrific song, but the instrumental intro peps me up every time I hear it. And then I want to keep shouting "hey!" (Listen to the song and you'll understand what I mean.)

4. Home by Phillip Phillips: Yes, this song is everywhere. But I just love it. And if you look back to any of my blog posts from late January through mid-May of 2012, you'll see I was a fan of Phillip Phillips from when he first hit the American Idol stage last season. His win may have continued the "white guy with guitar" trend, but it was deserving.

5. Thinking About You by Frank Ocean: Frank Ocean frigging rocks, not only for his courage to come out of the closet at the height of his R&B/hip-hop career, but simply for his musical brilliance. This song is a good example.

6. Some Nights by Fun.: No, I don't have a clue what the song means, but I cannot get it out of my head. Even though We Are Young might be the band's biggest hit, this is one of my favorite songs off their CD.

7. Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye (featuring Kimbra): Please, like you can get this song out of your head? I just hope Gotye won't wind up on the list of one-hit wonders after this; I think he's too talented. (For fun, check out this version by Ron Pope, one of my favorite singers.)

8. Too Close by Alex Clare: If this song doesn't get you going, you need to wake up. This is one of my current musical obsessions.

9. We Come Running by Youngblood Hawke: For the record, I loved this song before it was used in commercials. Download the band's EP; it's well worth it.

10. Default by Django Django: Doesn't have a thing to do with the Tarantino movie. Has a combination of Devo-esque synth with a new wave beat.

11. The Lion's Roar by First Aid Kit: I can thank my brother Craig for this recommendation. You'd never know that this was sung by two Swedish sisters, would you? (Check out their other single, Emmylou as well.)

12. I Cry by Flo Rida: I don't know what I love more about this song, the beat or the fact it samples Brenda Russell's Piano in the Dark. (I am a child of the 80s, after all...)

13. I Will Wait by Mumford & Sons: If I had the band's first album on CD, I would have worn it out. This, the first single off their second album, proved they were more than just a musical novelty act.

14. All the Pretty Girls by Fun.: As much as I love Some Nights (see above), this is my favorite song off their album. Again, it's probably the vintage 80s feel of the song, but whatever it is, this song is one of the five most played songs on my iPod.

15. San Francisco by The Mowgli's: How can this song not put you in a great mood and make you want to be in San Francisco? There's no actual video to this song, but who cares?

16. A Wedding in Connecticut by Ron Pope: Ron Pope may be one of the best singers you've never heard of, but you should give him a serious listen. I love everything off his 2012 album Atlanta, but because I'm a sap, this is the one I chose.

17. Brokenhearted by Karmin: She may sound like one of the Spice Girls sometimes (not an insult in this case), but this duo is from Nebraska, believe it or not. Another one I can never seem to get out of my head...

18. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift: Yeah, I'm probably more surprised than you are that a Taylor Swift song made my list. I have no words, except that maybe I'm just endlessly fascinated by trying to figure out which of her celebrity ex-boyfriends this song was written for.

19. It's Time by Imagine Dragons: Another song I loved before it became a commercial. Totally in my musical groove right now.

20. Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen: Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but here's the one song I can never get out of my head, so call me, maybe? Whatever. Don't judge me.

What were your favorite songs this past year? I'm always looking for more music...

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