Backfill: 2012 EOY: Part 3 of 4

As before, bold for what should be higher, underlined for what should be lower and italics for all my notes and updates as I write now… this is archive writing from me copied from the year noted from Buzzjack.com. This from #150 to #75.

150. Butterfly Boucher – Not Fooling Around
Chart Peak: # 18
‘I’m not trying to win you back’

Beautiful song, Butterfly’s vocals merge so well with the production it brings out emotion in some weird twist of the way the world works. This song is literally perfect for cold dark winter nights, although I’ve been playing it a bit too much recently and it’s actually starting to suffer from overplay. (no longer! is an amazing gem)

149. Imagine Dragons – Radioactive
Chart Peak: #13
‘welcome to the new age’

One song I’ve been enjoying a lot recently, even though it’s been around the entire year, the current highlight of Imagine Dragon’s career. Thankfully they had more in their arsenal than It’s Time, as much as that sounded like a hit, it lacks something to push it to the level of amazing. Radioactive has that in spades. Hard hitting chorus, epic hook line marked above and random breathing to add ‘atmosphere’ to the track, it’s very enjoyable, and one of the only good things about the last BJSC. (would put this way higher next year, so watch out for that, as in the real world, it was a very long-lasting track)

148. Keane – Silenced By The Night
Chart Peak: DNC
‘the people in this town, they look straight through me’

The only song in here I didn’t chart (it’s one of the entry requirements but I made an exception), and that’s because I forgot Keane were around until their new album literally landed in my lap. From there I began to love them again. Silenced By The Night is the best and most interesting record they’ve done since Somewhere Only We Know. Sounding not too dissimilar from something Coldplay would do in the chorus, Keane may have got a new fan in me. (I mean, I never wasn’t a fan but this era they did an excellent job of winning me round)

147. Jinja Safari – Mermaids
Chart Peak: #47
‘I never questioned my faith, but I can’t wipe this smile off my face’

A massive grower of a song by an indie-pop band, it’s a builder of a song – the final chorus is what makes it all worthwhile but it’s pretty much all aural bliss up to that point. I like songs that build. Very much so. It was in a strong contest as well, so for this to be in my top 5 from XLIV by year’s end, that’s the hallmark of an excellent entry.

146. No Doubt – Settle Down
Chart Peak: #7
‘I’m tryna get a hold on this’

No Doubt are a band I like in general (this comeback inspired me to buy their Singles Collection and it is largely fantastic) and so I was eager to hear this. As one might expect, it wasn’t quite like the times of old. Looking Hot was good for about a day, Push And Shove I wasn’t too keen on, but this was fairly good. Nothing on past glories like Hella Good, Don’t Speak and It’s My Life, and it does sound a bit dated, however the chorus is something to behold. Not surprised at all at the total failure, because of that dated-ness. I like it, others may not.

145. Nightwish – The Heart Asks Pleasure First
Chart Peak: #24
‘straight to the toil, this mortal coil’

The only B-Side in here, and naturally it’s from my new obsession Nightwish. It’s a cover of a little-known song, so little-known that this version takes up most of the lyrical searches on Google. Anette’s voice really suits this ballad and in classic Nightwish style, it becomes operatically awesome towards the climax – I think the only reason it’s this low is due to it being the B-side, it’s one of the better Nightwish tracks I have. (that doesn’t make sense, but then I can often not make sense by talking about Nightwish because they bring out super love in me)

144. SoSo – Who’s Gonna Love Me
Chart Peak: #22
‘everyone that I trusted has walked away from me’

Who’s Gonna Love Me is a great pop song and just about my favourite of said country’s entries, although a lot of them have been rather fab. I’m here for her quirky vocals, always like a few quirky vocals.

143. Electrovamp – I Don’t Like The Vibe In The VIP
Chart Peak: #15
‘You’d better watch out we don’t get caughty caughty’

Yes it’s rather old but I discovered it through it being entered and it’s been a wonderful discovery so I wouldn’t have it any other way. The ultimate in slutty, dancy pop, I’ve actually never heard anything else quite like it, it’s a crazy track – and so many quotable lines, it was hard picking just one for the italics up above.

142. Flo Rida – I Cry
Chart Peak: #2
‘heard about the news whole day went sour’

Yeah I’m in this for Bingo Players’ sample. Flo Rida, if you can tell the difference between the rapping on this one and on any other of his songs you’re doing well, although I must admit he does a good job by his standards here. I loved this for about all of 3 weeks and it spent that time in my top 5, but fell out of my affections pretty quickly afterwards. At least it’s better than Good Feeling/Whistle though. (I mean, this is one of the Flo’s best, but still… Flo Rida, what was I thinking?)

141. Amelia Lily – You Bring Me Joy
Chart Peak: #3
‘so forget about the madness’

I was incredibly pumped for Amelia Lily material from the moment she performed China In Your Hand on the X Factor, and while I have enjoyed her solo output, it’s not quite as good as I was hoping for. Neither this or the followup lasted ages in my affections and the title line really annoys me, however beneath that there is a good song struggling to get out and I like everything in this song that is not the title line. Amelia Lily has been totally eclipsed by Little Mix and another certain pink-haired songstress now. (never really listened to this since)

140. Ott Lepland – Kuula
Chart Peak: #23
‘kuula, mu sudamel un haal’

#11. An unexpected late grower from Eurovision, no doubt helped by its surprise rocket up the scoreboard to finish 6th, here is Estonia’s entry, consistently the best Baltic country, no doubt because of their close connections with Finland. Possibly even Estonia’s best entry, although I only really know Rockefeller Street and Everybody off the top of my head and it’s the best out of those 3 (putting it into perspective how much worse 2011 was than 2012 that Rockefeller Street is my third favourite from that year and it’s STILL inferior to this) . I don’t know quite why it took so long to grow on me, I thought it was as boring as Love Is Blind at first, looking at that now, I’m disgusted I could ever compare this with that turd. His vocals are powerful enough to bring a house down and despite it being in Estonian, it’s quite easy to connect with his meaning, which is simply: Listen. Europe did. (that is beautiful, Izzy, if I do say so myself)

139. Porcelain Black – Swallow My Bullet
Chart Peak: #11
‘my guns are loaded and I got you in my sights’

A raspy vocalled Hendinian BJSC entry buried deep in production. Should be awful, is not. At all. There’s so much damn energy in the track and the chorus ramps that up. It’s something I’ve found with certain songs from the contest, that the lyrics stand out over everything else and it feels like something the person sending it loves. These are often the songs I end up loving. If you didn’t understand that, I don’t really either (… self awareness coming to the fore). Swallow The Bullet is one of these, so so much. Pallbearer a few places lower is the first other one that comes to mind. Also I’m not sure if I’ve gotten it right with ‘My’ or ‘The’ in the title. I’m not too bothered either way. (it is My, the other one would sound kooky)

138. Nightwish – Ghost River
Chart Peak: #7
‘it’s a long road down the river deep and wild’

*.* (indeed! should be about a hundred places higher)

One Nightwish album track that full on hit me part way through the year. I was tempted, oh so tempted to send this to BJSC but I probably wouldn’t have the guts to (although if it wasn’t by Nightwish I’d send it because then I could avoid being cheap), because it’s full on metal. It even has a few part-screamo voices in it. It also has that glorious overarching female vocal from Anette, which is what makes it. Nightwish-heavy-metal is one of the few parts of heavy metal I can stand, mainly because their tracks never linger on them for long, it’s straight onto the next part of the song, and here it’s because the instrumental really does feel like a fast-flowing river, falling off a waterfall at the beginning and continuing to run rapid throughout the rest of the song. And it lasts for near on 5 and a half minutes, so there is a lot of flowing to do.

137. Baron Von Luxxury feat. Little Boots – That Disco Beat
Chart Peak: #23
‘can you hear me baby I can’t hear you’

Boy, does Little Boots make a good duet partner or what? Her fading, cool voice really makes this record what it is. Seriously the best thing she’s done this year (of her scattered solo material Every Night I Say A Prayer got forgotten fairly quickly and I never got into Headphones at all). No idea who this Baron Von Luxxury character is, he provides decent vocals but the star here is Little Boots of course, it’s a repetitive song but what there is is so good I keep coming back to listen again and again. PEOPLE OF BJSC, why is this Umiiruka’s worst performing entry when it is by far their best in quality? (umiiruka would be forever underrated)

136. Dev feat. Enrique Iglesias – Naked
Chart Peak: #8
‘so I don’t care what they say it’s my life life life’

One of a couple of beneficiaries of saving December releases for the next year to chart. And November releases if they took their time to grow on me. And songs I’d heard the year before but didn’t become a hit until the next year. I’m quite liberal really. Anyway, Naked was released about this time last year and it’s one of the more thoughtful things Dev has put her name to. Gathering Enrique Iglesias in to work his magic on her song (if you hadn’t figured it out already I’m quite the fan of most female/male duets, the way the different voices merge while singing the song is normally very appealing), it’s very easy to listen and rack up plays with, if a little basic. (yeah it is a little bit basic, but I do have more time for Enrique than most others in his categories, even if this shouldn’t be this high now)

135. Stefanie Heinzmann – Diggin’ In The Dirt
Chart Peak: #13
‘it doesn’t matter if you’re stuck deep in the mud’

I dismissed this as utter crap the first time I heard it. Then, as so often happens, it gets entered into BJSC and because I can’t keep the same opinion for more than 2 days I started loving it. Most of what is on Youtube are live versions, her voice sounds so much stronger in the studio – especially on that pop-rock chorus that demands you sing along. Another entry into the ‘random BJSC flops that Iz(zy) will defend to the death’ section.

134. Jay-Z & Kanye West – Niggas In Paris
Chart Peak: #17
‘Ball so hard got a broken clock, rolleys that don’t tick tok’

Arguably the mainstream (male) rap track of the year. The one thing from the Throne collaboration I really began to love, and first time I really begin to get the hype, it makes it so high due to a large number of quotable moments – the samples from Blades Of Glory probably being the most outstanding, an excellent beat, and due to being played at nearly every party I’ve been to this year. (and still a regular…)

133. Pasha Parfeny – Lautar
Chart Peak: #32
‘this trumpet makes you mine’

EINEN PUNKT. (to signify my favourite Eurovision songs this year in probably the best Eurovision we’ll ever have) This one is all about the trumpet. There is no way I can ever NOT want to dance along to the trumpet (Pasha’s right in that sense) – part 2 in Moldova’s epic use of brass following on from 2010. Pasha has a good voice but he’s really secondary to the instrumentation here, his lyrics are awfully basic. An unexpectedly good entry from Moldova, who has a Eurovision country all too easily fall into the trap of sending some awful novelty thing (see 2011’s ‘entry’).

132. Solange – Losing You
Chart Peak: #6
‘we used to kiss all night but now there’s just no use’

A recent grower and a free high quality version from the iTunes store awoke me to how incredible this actually is. Solange I’ve always liked about as much as her older sister (I was raving to Sandcastle Disco long ago) but this felt too basic when I first heard it. The high quality version brings out the backing like never before, the skill with which Solange is singing and the emotion that comes out behind the song. Fantastic RnB track, I want more of this Solange (should really check the EP sooner rather than later). (still a huge favourite, should really be a lot higher, I’m sure this has more real-world popularity than a good amount of real hits)

131. Rizzle Kicks – Mama Do The Hump
Chart Peak: #20
‘and I might just join the mile high club, only problem being that I couldn’t give a flying f***’

A huge track from the early part of the year – Rizzle Kicks’ second best track. This did tire a little after I’d heard it all for the 50th time but when it was fresh… it was wonderful, and those lyrics are so clever and easy to remember. Not entirely sure about the chorus (the most annoying part by far) but it’s catchy. The italicised lyric is some strike of twisted genius (I still think that this song has some most excellent lyrics and a good beat even if RK aren’t the most credible out there). Still not as fresh as Down With The Trumpets but excellent for cheering up a winter morning.
130. Skrillex – Bangarang
Chart Peak: #9
‘shoutz to all my lost boys’

Hear those catchy synths? That’s the sound of Skrillex getting a mainstream hit. It’s also my favourite piece from his catalogue – I’m not inclined to love him that much and too many of his tracks sound the same. This, using Sirah to go over the top of a standard beat, creates a fairly awesome summer hit. Of course the best bit is the way she artfully pops out the word ‘Bangarang’. I’m here for that. (Skrillex is not the monster that some people make him out to be, I think once people got used to him they dropped their hatred of him, although I wish he was still doing stuff like this and not boring trash like Where Are U Now)

129. Zejlko Joksimovic – Nije Ljubav Stvar
Chart Peak: #31
‘da bi ti je vratio’

ZWEI PUNKT. Using an opening instrumental that sounds very similar to Coldplay’s Paradise and in places reminding me of Nightwish, it isn’t Chris Martin’s vocals that bring this song to life, nor the operatic sounds of Tarja/Anette, but the dulcet Serbian tones of Zejlko Joksimovic. I know he entered Eurovision once before this but I don’t know the song (Lane Moje is glorious, btw, that’s what years of experience does to you), this however is fairly lovely. Zejlko is clearly accomplished and by the end he manages to bring a fairly epic feeling to it. Not quite the best in Balkan ballads but getting there – and so I was very pleased this finished third. Having all but one of the top 6 in this chart how mainstream am i?

128. Ruby Frost – Porcupine
Chart Peak: #5
‘I know I need to trust you but I’m coming all undone’

The next Séyetan entry to appear, and it’s my worst performing, an accolade it does not deserve (that should go to my forgettable debut entry). I’d entered Ruby earlier in the year and had done fairly well, so I assumed Buzzjack would eat up anything she’d done. I was wrong. It’s not AS good as Water To Ice but it’s not that far off truth be told (even though Water To Ice is a lot further up). Her vocals are still exactly on the money in the verses, it’s got a shimmering instrumental and while the chorus isn’t the punchiest it’s still great. I understand how it failed to progress to the final, don’t understand how it came so low. It also came one point off progressing to the Reject semi finals, at which point I wished to utter a wish of death on random unsuspecting denizens of this forum. (hahaha, I can be great sometimes)

127. Eva Boto – Verjamem
Chart Peak: #33
‘Verjamem da znova, ujela se bova’

The best Balkan ballad this year. DREI PUNKT. It took a lot of listens for me to fully get this, before the contest it was going right through me with me forgetting it right afterwards, however it was the stunning semi performance that burned it into my brain and made me obsessed. Therefore I was GOBSMACKED and DISTRAUGHT when it finished second-bottom of the semi final. Eurovision’s own Porcupine. This reminds me even more of the instrumentals Nightwish do than Nije Ljubav Stvar does, and Eva’s vocals are so damn strong. Slovenia just can’t catch a break, can they?  (They can’t indeed, and this should have been close to winning Eurovision, although Slovenia always suffer in the neighbour game so will probably never come close, definitely in my top 100 of 2012 now)

126. Taylor Swift – I Knew You Were Trouble
Chart Peak: #2
‘and I realised, the blame was on me’

Yeah, this one will be a lot higher in my next EOY chart as I only really started to love it this December (was it? I can’t remember. Probably her best overall song though so I guess it will be). But unlike things like Stay, Running To The Sea and Die Young, it grew on me a bit earlier and therefore makes it into this year too. Taylor-dubstep is not something I expected to love but with my love of everything Taylor that has blossomed this year, it’s only natural (and it might even end up being my first Taylor #1, depends how I feel when I make my chart this week). There’ll be quite a bit more of this girl to come (huh? oh… I think I recall, yeah, despite me saying this is her best song she put out a lot of her best material this year and I must have penalised this one in particular because it came out so late, because that makes sense), more than a lot of artists anyway.

125. Gossling – Wild Love
Chart Peak: #21
‘dig up my heartstrings’

Gossling is the third highest Rontvian entry. That vocal style of hers is unique, even something close to genius,. I recall it was said, that some of these entries came under fire for their unusual vocal style and I was thinking ‘So? Continue those please! Those are the best ones’. Largely because it’s something different. I nearly entered Sharon Doorson (of Hendinian fame) as I liked Fail In Love to a contest but was put off largely by her generic sounding voice. It’s also the reason I dislike Rita Ora but love Rihanna, Rihanna’s voice is unique, recognisable, and has great tones. Songs like Wild Love are the antithesis of Fail In Love and I want more of them on my iPod plz. (that went on a weird tangent but ultimately correct in its assessment)

I also had ‘gossling’ as the password on my laptop for an age (changed it now, but I was choosing a random BJSC act for a while and stopped changing it on Gossling) so it has contributed to my life in some way. [/randomanecdote] (and I can continue to say this as I don’t believe I use that or its base for a password anywhere these days)

124. Flo Rida feat. Sia – Wild Ones
Chart Peak: #10
‘if I took you home it’d be a home run’

From Wild Love to Wild Ones, and it’s possibly Flo Rida’s best effort ever, helped by the fantastic Sia selling her soul and singing about the club. While it’s nothing overly innovative it’s very enjoyable (while you’re out in the first part of the year) and Sia’s wonderful voice prevents me from putting this any lower although it’s the most basic she could have ever lowered herself to. (correct, it shouldn’t be quite this high although as with I Cry, surprisingly decent for Flo Rida but still… Flo Rida)

123. The Wonder Villains – Zola
Chart Peak: #16
‘my team said to me, you’re the one’

Straight back to obscure songs from BJSC and it’s Irish (?) band The Wonder Villains. The song’s about Zola, a footballer (I don’t know any more, shoot me at dawn). It’s so catchy and light to listen to, and it got me obsessed in the first week of BJSC XLI. Bré (my best mate on there) didn’t vote and it didn’t qualify (part 2 on from Sea Of Stars on just how the hell that happened, but at least this one made it to the Rejects). This sort of indie-pop is the sort that I’m in the genre for. It had better win the Rejects if Saint Saviour can’t. (it did not, sadly, although another Persephonian entry did and that was also one I quite like)

122. Crystal Kay – Yo Yo
Chart Peak: #23
‘you got me hot hot hot then cold again’

Some lovely J-Pop and I think the highest of it to make it on my countdown (oh how this would change…). I had never heard of Crystal Kay before this (although she is very pretty and has a long career so I should have gotten aboard this before now) yet this is a perfect pop song. The chorus is so catchy and addictive. Yo Yo Yo Yo Yo Yo Yo

121. Coldplay – Charlie Brown
Chart Peak: #17
‘took a car downtown and took what they offered me’

Chipmunks and another inspired Coldplay riff that you swear you’ve heard before (which sounded FANTASTIC opening the BRITS). What’s not to love? It also had Misfits star Antonia Thomas in the video, an inspired choice as I LOVE her and because of my awful shallowness that increased my enjoyment of the song by 700% it didn’t really  (you perv). One of my favourites off Mylo Xyloto (third only to Paradise and PoC) so releasing as a single was a great choice, even though it flopped to all hell.
120. Train – Drive By
Chart Peak: #15
‘they don’t like it sue me’

First and biggest of Train’s singles to show up this year. It’s been their best and most consistent singles era and yet this is actually the weak link of them all – although I enjoy it a lot. Built, honed and polished for radio, it was a summer tune for those fans of MoR and yet I like it because the chorus is so well-sung. Thankfully, although I enjoy this, the latter singles are not so much of a blatant attempt to get a radio hit, they’re exactly like this but with more challenging instrumentals and more bizarre lyrics. It’s the plain Train. (and my main bane if band is not Train, they’re surprisingly good at gaining my brain without much pain)

119. Maroon 5 – Payphone (will someone tell me what this is doing up this high?)
Chart Peak: #12
‘even the sun sets in paradise’

This gets a lot of hate, yet I like it for the same reasons as Train just below. Adam Levine’s voice is at his least annoying here (compared to something like One More Night) and the production is actually fairly interesting. I have to be a secret Maroon 5 fan, I keep saying I don’t like them but I can’t think of any of their songs I actually don’t like aside from One More Night which is their most recent. Payphone is their best of the ‘new’ Maroon 5, even if it thinks its being original by making fun of love songs. (okay this isn’t that bad but as high as #119)

118. Italove – Strangers In The Night
Chart Peak: #11
‘i was blinded by the lights’

Every time I listen to this the opening reminds me why I love it. And while it never quite repeats that high, it’s an enjoyable disco listen all of the way through, the instrumental weaving in and out of prominence. I get the feeling that if Coldplay made disco, this would be what they would sound like. Or most of the post-Britpop bands, the vocals seem like that sort of STYLE. (And you have no idea how much that little niche has been valuable, I wish I could find more bands that did that)

117. Robbie Williams – Candy
Chart Peak: #12
‘the bush is high but in the hole is water’

I sense a THEME for this section (this must be a glass ceiling for a certain kind of radio-friendly hit, yes I’m feeling c (didn’t finish my thought there, obviously I have no idea what it was going to be)). I’ve never been too keen on Robbie Williams (yet like Maroon 5 it’s only because of a few songs) so Candy was a nice surprise as being catchy and a little bit cheesy. It is a clever hit, the lyrics are complete nonsense/contain a lot of sexual innuendos and I’m sure most people listening to this on commercial radio have no clue what he is singing about. Yet it became a hit – and I’m not the best person to ask why, I just know that if I was listening to something like Heart FM now and it came on I would DEFINITELY enjoy it. (it would be something tolerable for Heart FM, true, and it’s one of Robbie’s least bad songs, fine)

116. Bic Runga – Hello Hello
Chart Peak: #21
‘I draw the blinds and make a cup of coffee’

My first experience with Bic Runga, and it’s a pleasant one, Hello Hello is so lovely, happy and so ME. It’s not too far away from that specific brand of pop that the likes of Alexis Jordan and Cover Drive inhabit and therefore it’s addictive and warm to listen to. Surprising to find a song like this in the first edition of Unknown Pleasures I took part in but I don’t think I’ve had a more obvious top scorer since, excellent discovery from Ghosty.

115. Nicki Minaj – Pound The Alarm
Chart Peak: #2
‘Some call me Nicki and some call me Roman’

The highest Nicki is going to get on my chart, like I might have said with Starships, really starting to tire with her. The first verse of this is a remnant of the amazing Nicki rap that I loved on older songs of hers and the chorus is pretty damn good considering it’s her singing. That ‘noise’ is AWFUL though. Only bad thing about an otherwise good song. (I’m surprised that noise didn’t result in me putting it lower, obviously I don’t really listen to this now although I’m not going to denounce it because it’s not hateable, just quite generic)

114. Sofi Marinova – Love Unlimited
Chart Peak: #36
‘Seviyorum seni, s’agapo poli
Yo te quiero a ti, volim te, mon cheri’

VIER PUNKT. Seriously gives me chills even now. Saying ‘I love you’ in like 20 different languages over a cheap Eastern European dance track – what a crazy and lovable idea for a Eurovision entry. Had it had good staging at Eurovision, it could have eclipsed Zaleilah and given some much needed success to poor unloved Bulgaria. Tooji was AWFUL compared to this. One of my favourite entries this year although I didn’t realise it until after the semi final. I should’ve voted. (as if that would have gotten it through but it was so close, definitely an entry that deserved to be in the final over what got through ahead of it, I liked Tooji at the time but it has not aged well in the slightest, while this, this amazing thing has aged wonderfully)

113. Marina & The Diamonds – Bubblegum Bitch
Chart Peak: #4
‘Oh dear diary, we fell apart, welcome to the life of Electra Heart ‘

My most played Marina track somehow, and that’s because as the opening track on Electra Heart, I played it over and over for the first week after getting the album – one of the catchiest things Marina has ever put her name to. Upbeat Marina, this is your crowning glory. This woman is so versatile, to go from this to something like Fear And Loathing in the space of one album is just VALUABLE for music.

112. Fibes, Oh Fibes feat. Icona Pop – Cerahtonia
Chart Peak: #14
‘ba ba ba CERAHTONIA’

Second-best winner of the BJSC this year and one of two to make my chart. The chorus is a thing of beauty and while I don’t have a clue who Fibes Oh Fibes are, I value their contribution to music as it’s the first time I’ve found Icona Pop amazing. Best thing they have ever done by a long way and they’re only a feature. *insert rant about I Love It and how I hope it isn’t a big hit* (awkward… but that song is terrible and easily the worst thing an otherwise good band has ever done)

111. Rihanna feat. Jay-Z – Talk That Talk
Chart Peak: #23
‘I’m flying out to Pisa, just to get some pizza’

It’s the first appearance for Ms Fenty, always an reliable multi-song artist in my singles chart, and this time she has Jay-Z hooking up with her again. It’s provided success before so what could go wrong? Well as good as it is, Jay-Z’s verse does go on a little long and Rihanna’s song is no Umbrella. However it’s fairly enjoyable for a Rihanna single, better than You Da One anyway. (meh, not particularly great)

YEAH that section has done nothing to increase my credibility (I swear this happened through me looking at what I NEEDED to dump before the top 100 (and here we get a valuable insight into how I create my EOY charts, semi-random and built on what other people will think of me)).. NO MATTER. Onwards we press.
110. David Guetta feat. Sia – She Wolf (Falling To Pieces)
Chart Peak: #3
‘what do you see in those yellow eyes’

I bet some people might have thought that a David Guetta and Sia collab was sure to be top 50 after Titanium stormed it last year. There’s something missing from She Wolf though, the production is more typical Guetta than the excellent work he put in on Titanium and Sia’s vocals are nowhere near as strong. It clicked with me for a short while but part of that high peak was hype – it’s Sia so it’s of a certain quality but it’s not that much better than Wild Ones. A bit of a disappointment but 110th best song of the year isn’t bad when it’s me.

109. Coldplay feat. Rihanna – Princess Of China
Chart Peak: #1 (#14 in 2012)
‘you stole my star’

After being top 10 last year, Princess Of China comes in at #109 this year. Mainly only here because it blew up big this time round – but I didn’t connect with it this year as much as I did last year and it had a far lower peak. Still a fantastic collab between two of my favourite acts, so I enjoy all vocals on here (Rihanna’s doing it slightly better though kink.gif) (no she isn’t, it’s both equal, but yes, nice to see this in again).

108. Far East Movement feat. Cover Drive – Turn Up The Love  (haha what is this doing up so high? did I not say my piece about FEM in 2011?)
Chart Peak: #13
‘and we’re breathing in the same air’

Fifth collab in 5 songs wot?! This sees the first appearance of Cover Drive, and the last appearance of Far East Movement. The latter has fallen off a bridge in terms of quality after the fairly good Rocketeer and Like A G6, and their rapping is just desperate as they realise they are no longer the biggest Asian act in America (and fairly crap). It’s all about the chorus. It’s a little generic but Amanda’s voice lifts it above that and since I have fallen in love with her voice this year, even a small bit of it gets this high. PREPARE YOURSELVES. (oh, it was the Cover Drive factor. Yup, that was it)

107. The Sound Of Arrows – Conquest
Chart Peak: #9
‘I’m never gonna give it up, not now, not ever’

After Nova last year and discovering M.A.G.I.C then, the Sound Of Arrows album is one I keep meaning to listen to, but when they released Conquest as a single from it this year, I knew I’d found another highlight. Production is seriously top notch, and the singers voices are just PURE. It’d be so easy for them to keep the same tone throughout the song, but the verses sees their vocals becoming airy and ethereal and that is quite a wonderful shift from the tenor foreboding of the chorus. Fantastic track and were it not for Nova, the best thing the Sound Of Arrows have done. (I would now count this better than Nova so naturally, as with that, this should be far higher)

106. Poppy & The Jezebels – Sign In, Dream On, Drop Out
Chart Peak: #2
‘I suppose you could behave but that would be so bland’

It’s a message to all you good-acting blandies on the board! And here we have another of my entries to BJSC, meaning 6 have made my top 100. I entered Poppy and The Jezebels back in May and was expecting a little more than I got, it has the powers of Richard X behind it and it’s a cheery pop song by a girlband. Alas time has told me that it isn’t THAT strong a song but I’m still very glad I entered it as it was a adequate entry for obtaining an average to measure future success against (so pleased with averageness, that would not be the case as we progress through the years). Weird, strange title but I like those. The video reminds me of the one by The Charlies doing Monster (Eat Me) all very cheap looking with random people cheering to bad special effects. That was rather entertaining.

105. Taylor Swift feat. The Civil Wars – Safe & Sound
Chart Peak: #3
‘don’t you dare look out your window darling everything’s on fire’

It’s another song from Taylor Swift, promoting one of the finest films of the year, The Hunger Games. It’s something very different from her usual output and it gets really quite emotional (one song I have nearly cried to right here). Her work for this soundtrack really made me take notice of a singer I’d barely tolerated before – now I’m a rather big fan of hers instead. I’ve also recently learned how to play the tune of this on the clarinet, it’s in a surprisingly easy key for those purposes – and it’s about my favourite tune I CAN play on there. (kk, this should be way higher because it’s so different for Taylor and is actually a great film score, one of the main reasons I liked The Hunger Games at first was the amazing soundtrack)

104. Adele – Skyfall
Chart Peak: #4
‘you can have my number, you can take my name’

And another from one of the best films of 2012, I wasn’t expecting too much from this, having not really been a fan of James Bond themes before this and being a little fed up with Adele domination of everything. Yet it turned out to be a rather inspired choice and a great song. There is a grandiose feeling to the song, and having heard a number of the James Bond themes properly since this, I can say that it is among the best and captures what is needed there perfectly. The Skyfall project was a huge success for popular culture this year, not the least this song.

103. Haloo Helsinki – Maaliman Toisella Puolen
Chart Peak: #7
‘ja laulan pappadaduda pa duda dapa’

Finnish pop will normally sit well with me, it’s one of the most pleasant languages to listen to if it’s being sung and a lot of it is along the happy side of pop rather than the dance-pop breakdowns. It’s not just about my inexplicable Finnphilia, although I think it is a cause of it. Haloo Helsinki provide exactly what I need in spades with this pop-rock anthem. I need to find a song like this for next year at some point – never entered a foreign-language song yet much less a Finnish one. (this would be my introduction to one of the best bands in popular Finnish music over the last few years)

102. Keane – Sovereign Light Cafe
Chart Peak: #12
‘let’s go down to the rides on east parade’

Rounding off a good Keane top 3 in which Somewhere Only We Know is higher and Silenced By The Night is lower, wait a sec, they all start with S’s. Don’t need a tangent, sorry. Why did this make it higher than Silenced By The Night? Well, I charted it for a start, secondly, that chorus is huge and exactly the sort of thing I want from Keane. It’s a fairly standard Keane song on the surface but it’s the chorus that elevates it above some others.

101. AlunaGeorge – Your Drums, Your Love
Chart Peak: #7
‘Whether I sink or swim, it’s you I’m thinking of’

A big tip for success in 2013, and I really hope they get it, preferably with a re-release of this song. I never thought a whole lot of You Know You Like It (it did drive me insane basil.gif ) but Your Drums, Your Love was quite the eye-opener for me. First heard it through a friend at uni and recognised the name, then I began to play it over and over again. A slightly weird but compelling chorus holds up some breathy, slightly sexy verses and it’s all rather a rather aural experience. I’ve also just watched the video and Aluna is TOO cute (as well as having near perfect vocals) (hey, you absolute perv, although you are right). Not that that has any bearing on how much I like the song, I didn’t know what she looked like until a few weeks ago and I was loving the song all through October. Excuses. Last track to miss out on my top 100, gutted for them. If it becomes big next year it’ll be back in there. Here’s hoping. (it didn’t really but they did become really big of course and I would stick with them… until the second album where I haven’t picked up on them that much)
100. Lena Phillipsson – Live Tomorrow (STHLM Mix)
Chart Peak: #10
Weeks on Chart:
‘the sun has fallen, and i’ve become, the lonely one’

Lena Ph’s cover of Laleh’s song Live Tomorrow is a beast of a tune to kick off the top 100. Making the chorus sound longing is not an easy achievement but it really works. I tend to prefer the STHLM mix as it seems like it’ll never end and the production is ramped up a bit on it. I’m absolutely fine with listening to Lena’s ‘original’ however, she has a talent. Fantastic Scandipop song.

99. fun. – Some Nights
Chart Peak: #7
‘this is it boys, this is war’

Unlike We Are Young, this never got overplayed or boring and I hope this is fun’s more natural sound, kooky strange hipster-ish indie as I would be happier with that. The lead singer sounds FAR FAR more engaged on this than We Are Young, where at times it seems like he is droning. Some Nights has so many more drums and interesting sounds, and I love the colonial-themed video. So yeah that was a paragraph about how this is better in every way than We Are Young (and I will fight anyone who tries to disagree with me on this). Based on the former, I’d have never expected them to have a song like the latter, it’s a pleasant surprise.

98. Charlotte Perelli feat. Kate Ryan – Little Braveheart
Chart Peak: #10
‘Looks strikes I got them, get out the door’

Hero was a lot better than all I’ve heard this era. Little Braveheart is the best Perelli song since that however. The opening instrumental and warm drop is FANTASTIC (as it is when it comes back in the bridges). Not so much a fan of the dubstep thing, the lyrics are a little basic and it sounds a lot like On The Floor, but then what self-respecting female-voxed club-banger doesn’t nowadays. I STILL can’t tell which voice is which but I enjoy both of them so I’m not judging. Also the first time Kate Ryan has made a song that I’ve heard and liked. Perelli is doing slightly better – now she’s on 4, her two ESC entries and the two in my countdown. I’m really going to alienate the Eurogais with this commentary, aren’t I?  (totally, what do you take me for, some sort of heterosexual who likes the Eurovision Song Contest? quite a pop tune though)

97. Ailee – I Will Show You
Chart Peak: #7
‘Boyeojulge wanjeonhi dallajin na’

One of the best offerings of K-Pop I’ve heard this year, Ailee has one good set of pipes on her. Earlier in the year, Heaven wasn’t too inspiring, but this, her sadness-tinged vocals leading up to a perfectly euphoric chorus bringing to life an absolutely fantastic song, is near life-changing. Spiritually this year’s Good Day, it does exactly what that one does and gives me a warm feeling to help with the winter. I have no clue what she’s saying but I’m sure it must be empowering to someone, somewhere. It has that FEELING. Thank you for the discovery, Oricon, you do have your uses. (not the Japanese chart Oricon, someone called Oricon)

96. Studio Killers – Ode To The Bouncer
Chart Peak: #24
‘you forgot in your wisdom the window to the ladies room’

It’s a rather old song but it’s 2012 to me and yeah, one of the songs from the first BJSC this year that’s stayed with me right through to the end. Featuring some really weird vocals and a plain beat, it is those vocals that make it what it is. It only occurred to me while writing this commentary what it’s actually about and I can’t believe I didn’t see it before, those wacky bouncers.. (what kind of nightclub has a window you can get in by anyway?). It is refreshing to see a dance song relying on quirky vocals rather than a quirky beat and that might be why it’s been so successful with me (ignore that low peak, I’ve played it to death).
95. Ruby Frost – Young
Chart Peak: #2
‘how’d I’d get so jaded at only 22’

By FAR the best song named Young to exist for this year at least (this year had a lot of them and most were awful), it’s a dreamy entry for Ruby Frost’s most recent single and although I knew it existed before it got made a single with a ‘good effort’ vid, it was only after that that I began to listen to it over and over again. This most of all out of all her singles reminds me why she is my favourite new artist to come to my attention in 2012 – it’s joyful yet her shimmering vocals make it feel inspiring. Inspiring is good. One more Ruby Frost song to come, and you should all know what it is. (well if you’re reading this without coming from Buzzjack you won’t but as a clue, it’s probably her most well known song)

94. Paulina Rubio – Boys Will Be Boys
Chart Peak: #17
‘you shot me with your love gun now I’m falling to the ground’

Who can’t love a bit of Latino-influenced pop? In the absence of Shakira and Jennifer Lopez (I have really ignored Dance Again as it was basic and such a flop) I have turned to Paulina Rubio for these needs and Boys Will Be Boys fills the criteria perfectly for hot summer days by the pool.

93. Redlight – Get Out My Head
Chart Peak: #10
‘you ruin my flow’

The better of the Redlight singles. I swear I put this on my longlist for BJSC but it became a hit too quickly (desperate), fantastic production skills and similarly to Lost In Your Love, the singing of the title line is superbly well done – one of the best hits in January. Especially the bopping beat.

92. Eivor – Undo Your Mind
Chart Peak: #14
‘do you believe in the golden gates’

This is so PERFECT. I can never find anything wrong with this song, which is why it’s so high, despite me not really playing that much (I should more, although I’m afraid if I do it’ll lose its magic). Her vocal delivery is not too far off Jonna Lee’s best, but more ‘normal’ than that – even though it’s not generic at all, in fact it’s just right for my ears. The whole record is alive with passion, sensuality and dramatic aural assaults, all I ever wanted from indie-pop. (It’s also quite a bit better than Rain so I’m glad Caerfyrddia ended up entering this)

91. DJ Andi feat. Stella – Happiness
Chart Peak: #10
‘open your eyes’

Much like Boys Will Be Boys, this is perfect for hot summer lounging – it is literally sunny Mediterranean days contained within a dance song. Plus it shares a name with a song I’m known for liking and therefore it shares that sentiment – happy songs are almost always good with me. The little tinkling sounds going underneath the main track really make this stand out among a load of similar Eurodance songs – great work.

Some of these songs are from last year but I have no qualms with including them if I first discovered them in a 2012 context (in this case BJSC).

90. Cady Groves – Love Actually
Chart Peak: #19
‘i’m patching up my heart again every time it explodes’

The followup to my INCREDIBLY AMAZING BJSC entry This Little Girl at the tail end of last year which you should all check out right now and realise how silly of you were to make this finish higher up the scoreboard (only just), I didn’t think to enter this into BJSC until someone else did. Hmmph. The title makes little grammatical sense and is fairly awful but the song itself is very enjoyable. Real emotion yeah (and it’s not just generic pop, even if it is quite bubblegum). I love this girl and will continue following her. (I mean, this is probably one of her weaker songs but it’s still good, Cady, you’re a good pop singer)

89. Nina Zilli – L’amore é femmina
Chart Peak: #21
‘boom boom boom’

FÜNF PUNKT. After a good while, the Italian entry turned out to be rather wonderful. Absolutely should not have challenged for any sort of title but Nina is a pretty great singer and did well for Italy. Given the horror they successfully turned out in 2011 it was quite a relief, even if it did turn out to be just another pop song swept away by the Loreen juggernaut after some positive predictions. A lot of those pop songs are the ones above (for shame Iz).

88. Scissor Sisters feat. Azealia Banks – Shady Love
Chart Peak: #8
‘you see me running but you can’t keep up’

One of the first songs to appear in 2012 was the Scissor Sisters’ comeback single featuring new hot singer Azealia Banks. One f***-up of a release later, along with a LOT of crediting confusion and a different lead single being chosen and it was all a rather amusing start to an era for one of my favourite acts. It’s a shame because this is genuinely one of my favourite of their songs ever – only 4 (I Don’t Feel Like Dancing, Fire With Fire, Any Which Way and Only The Horses) rank above it. The verses are so wonderfully weird, unsettling and awkward, and along with a highlight of a chorus by the one and only Azealia leading the Scissors in, it’s a triumph in unconventional songs, if only this had been tried commercially. (

87. SEP – Galaxy
Chart Peak: #1
‘my whole world crashes when you’re not around’

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s my first #1 to show up on the list (not counting Princess Of China as that was #1 last year) – that of my third greatest success ever in BJSC, the beautiful Sepideh and her Galaxy. An emotional pop song sounding not too unlike the infamous Water Against The Rocks (infamous in that Faye’s Water Against The Rocks, which might be in here somewhere, had a high profile veto from BJSC this year) in terms of verse progression and chorus delivery, it’s SEP’s debut single and probably the best she’ll do (although as she’s done nothing else of note in her solo career yet the jury’s out). The chorus is stunningly beautiful and longing and the time just flies by when you’re listening to it. A bit of a one and a half month thing but what a thing while I was looning for it.

86. Maria Mena & Mads Langer – Habits
Chart Peak: #2
‘but this time it’s different, the rules don’t apply’

Trying to shed XLVII as soon as possible here (and if that was truly your motivation, I think it’s a silly one but I believe that was a joke, although this does deserve a lot better than 86, it’s stunning) (one more song to come, but it was a better contest than I give it credit for) – it’s my original 12 points, given to the always reliable Maria Mena and her duet partner Mads Langer on the stunning Habits. A slow, breathy ballad, it really evokes beautiful emotions inside of me – and I really didn’t want to put it this low, like Galaxy, actually. Yes I do have 85 songs which are better, stop singing to me like that Maria! cry.gif (check yourself, although I give that it’s reasoned, I’m serious,  check this song out already) Really beautiful, as is a LOT of Maria’s music, which is why I really love her as a popstar.
85. Owl City – Bombshell Blonde
Chart Peak: #1
‘she’s so foxy she could lead to my demise’

My second-lowest #1 comes not long after the first, and naturally, it’s one of the album tracks that reached the top. Not long after getting ‘The Midsummer Station’ I began to get obsessed with Bombshell Blonde, the bonus track. It’s unlike ANYTHING Owl City has done before, quite a MOMENT (if you’re into that sort of thing of course). Furious production and vocals, it’s really well worth a listen if you are into upbeat pop songs at all + obligatory dubstep breakdown to top it all off – Owl City isn’t all fireflies and happy times, he has total diva moments in his back catalogue too now this exists. It’s not too dissimilar from I’m Coming After You lower down but feels really quite mature for a song singing about love for a hot chick he’s only met once. Or something. Either way, this is not how you expect Owl City to sound, it’s more the sound of a popstar finally finding his feet. (definitely something to check out if you like pop but don’t like Owl City, although if that’s the case you won’t be pleased by my countdown)

84. Blood Diamonds feat. Grimes – Phone Sex
Chart Peak: #16
‘i’m living on the moon’

And that’s XLVII done with, no more entries from that contest appear above this. First contest to fall (just goes to show how much BJSC would dominate these, and would continue to dominate these), but it’s still a fantastic song. Production is really great (I ran out of suitable synonyms a LONG time ago) and Grimes sounds the most committed out of the 3 songs I’ve heard her on this year. Also her vocals are allowed to shine through the production rather than being distorted with it like they were on Genesis and Oblivion. Should really have won (was really convinced it would).

83. Cover Drive – Explode
Chart Peak: #7
‘it’s not a science’

The first time this group shows up solo on my singles chart. This wasn’t exactly the strongest choice of single and I don’t think I’ve listened to the version with Dappy once out of FEAR (and still have not! this is pretty good but for Cover Drive, even though I still love them to an extent, is weak), but it has a convincing instrumental and pace that keep me coming back to it almost as much as its stronger counterparts and bigger hits. It’s still stronger than that mess that was Lick Ya Down – everything they’ve released in 2012 has been absolute gold.

82. Frida Hyvönen – Terribly Dark
Chart Peak: #7
‘i’m dying to see sunlight’

The atmosphere this song conjures up fits perfectly with the name. As in it feels dark. Dark, wonderful Scandipop – with a chorus that evokes desperation, a feeling of being lost. Another fine piece of music from Scandinavia and a great reason to use for why they are ahead of the rest of the world in music, I couldn’t imagine a British or American artist making a pop song distinct or moody quite like this, and I wouldn’t want them to try.

81. Team Me – Show Me
Chart Peak: #4
‘and I’m playing with a dangerous flame again’

One more for Ghosty, my favourite Unknown Pleasures discovery of the year goes to Norwegian indie band Team Me and their simply titled song, Show Me. Starting off with a crash of drums and a great instrumental, the vocals come in quickly and tell you this is going to be something special, the way they end lines is aural bliss. And then we get to the chorus – the instrumentation mellows out to give precedence to the hook line, before coming back in for more of what was so wonderful before. The alternating sounds of this is just addictive for me, a triumph for this genre. Case in point #2 in this section for why Scandinavians are the best. (what a SONG and what a band too, Team Me are some of the best in Norwegian indie-pop)
80. Saint Saviour – The Rain Falls On The Just
Chart Peak: #1
‘i am the oxygen, i am your only friend, i am the life support, you’re not ALOOOOOOOOOOONEEE’

My last BJSC entry of the year – and a wholly undeserved DNQ (it’s by far my favourite track in that contest still, I can’t avoid some bias but still (yeah, this is about where it should be, lovely song but #80 feels right) ). So therefore it needs to win the Rejects. Nothing Saint Saviour has done has impressed me as much as this, the fast-paced verses with inspired lyrics and the ‘chorus’ placing the emphasis on one word – along with the hook line repeated at various good places throughout the song – it’s a fantastic composition, it’s a shame it took me until nearly the end of the year to realise this.

79. First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar
Chart Peak: #26
‘and I’m a god-damn coward but then again so are you’

The first of three entries for the fantastic band – First Aid Kit, this ended up being one of the first songs I discovered while on the hunt for contest entries (see, that helps) back in January. I ended up foolishly dismissing it. And then later it grew on me a lot. I love the duo’s vocals, they’re so warm and convincing. The Lion’s Roar, more than their other songs, has a great beat, something not normally expected in a folk-pop song, and just when you think it’s over, there’s another blast of instrumentation to close it off. First Aid Kit, one of Scandinavia’s greatest exports this year (really need to check out their first album). Also got used in Misfits (yay). (my introduction to this lovely band that have since blown up everywhere, I’m sure that you know and love this and if not, get on it)

78. Halestorm – I Miss The Misery
Chart Peak: #10
‘I dare ya to call my bluff,
Can’t take to much of a good thingm I’m tellin you!’

I will always be a fan of Paramore-adjacent bands. The fury and power that goes into those songs, with a vocalist singing her heart out always make for, not quite a pleasant listen, but one I enjoy a lot. And I Miss The Misery has that in spades. I know nothing else from Halestorm but them being on the music scene with just this is something that I can and will get behind. (and a few years later, I have all halestorm albums and adore them intensely, did take a while from this song though)

77. Seo In Young – Anymore
Chart Peak: #7
‘and I feel like we can’t go on ANYYMORRRREEEE’

And this year the glass ceiling for Asian songs reaches as high as #77 for the very pretty Seo In Young. Oh and there’s that Gangnam Style thing but that hardly counts (like I say, this anti-Asian bias would go away, although I’m sure what I have here is still a lot more musically oriental than most people go). This is really a triumph of Asian pop, slightly Western in influence compared to a lot of K-Pop, and with a lovely, singable chorus. Even if you just pretend you’re saying the Asian words properly.

76. Purity Ring – Obedear
Chart Peak: #33
‘some ghastly predicament in mind you’ll find’

So I can’t believe I only charted this at #33 originally and gave it 1 point in BJSC, it’s worth so much more than that. The backing on this and the unusual lyrics – along with a very creepy video, give the sense of something more than just a song, something more powerful than that. Incredibly unique song, really, what else would have ‘bodies at dawn’ as a hook line, and it really makes me want to check out their album, although I have no idea when or if I’ll ever do that. (<33333333 awesome song)

Final part of 2012 in a few days. I hope if  you’ve read through all of this you like some of the wonderful songs here and if you don’t know any, check any that sound like your sort of thing out. They’re definitely worth the time.


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