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.
End of 2012 now, so here comes the party. And probably the last thing where I need to hugely despair of my opinions. Maybe. There’s a couple of big things I can think of for 2013 now I think about it.
75. Kelly Clarkson – What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)
Chart Peak: #6
‘you don’t know me cuz you’re dead wrong’
One of the earliest hits of the year, it premiered in 2011 but it peaked for me in the first few weeks of 2012 so justifiably belongs here. While it got a little tiring towards the end of it run, right now it sounds like one of Kelly’s best ever – and certainly one of her most well-known hits, trumping Mr Know It All easily. It’s Kelly-by-numbers but I like that very much so I still win. No, I still have not heard Catch My Breath. (shame, Catch My Breath is better than this these days)
74. Nordpolen – Nar Mitt Blod Pumpar I Dig
Chart Peak: #20
‘Hoftener foljen min puls’
I have no clue what he is singing or what is going on (something about blood pumps?). All I know is that this is a STOMPER of an electro track and I have all the time in the world for it. I don’t know anything like it I love, but it feels so alive and marching that I can’t help but smile when listening to it. (awesome recommendation if you like the sound of Swedish dark electro)
73. Scissor Sisters – Only The Horses
Chart Peak: #2
‘you thought there would be advertisements to give you something to go on’
In many ways, Only The Horses is the classic commercial Scissors song. Able to be played on pretty much any radio with a message that isn’t really much of a message and a pleasant sounding beat. And it did well to support them in their waning career and is certainly the best choice on Magic Hour. Lines like ‘this is our final bow’ are quite poignant given it’ll probably be a while before we see another album from them, if at all. (aww)
72. Cover Drive – I Know You Too Well
Chart Peak: #1
‘I know why your giving up, so much history between us and I blew it up ‘
And it’s another song from those wacky Bajans, this time one of their two #1s on my chart and the second of the three ‘album track’ #1s. Summery and addictive, it is exactly what you’d expect from a Cover Drive track. The starting instrumental is fantastic and leads into an unusually great performance from one of the male members. The chorus from Amanda complements the verses fantastically. This track has so much energy and it never loses any of it throughout the whole song. It’s the song where Cover Drive, the most throughout Bajan Style, really feel like a fantastic group with real chemistry and should have been the 4th single over Explode (as much as I love that) (I listen to this goddamn song far too much for what it is)
71. Florrie – To The End
Chart Peak: #4
‘i can only bring you happiness’
From one stomper of a pop song to another. Florrie is far more towards the credible end though – and while this isn’t the best Florrie song I know, that goes to Experimenting With Rugs (yes, what a life-giving lesbian anthem), this is a clear second favourite and really shows off her potential for success if only she had gotten a push. The production is fantastic and the chorus seemingly never-ending and so catchy. If you are a pop fan and can’t see anything at all in this, I’d be incredibly surprised.
70. Olly Murs feat. Flo Rida – Troublemaker
Chart Peak: #1
‘Typical middle name is Prada, fits you like a glove girl, I’m sick of the drama’
A record that consistently surprises me, from an artist who is well known for doing just that with me, Troublemaker is the definition of perfect hit. I do think its lyrics are amusingly apt, ‘I know you’re no good but you’re stuck in my brain’ and the majority of the rest of the lyrics could just as easily be talking about the song itself if we want to go META here. I couldn’t resist it for this past month but it finishes rather low kinda arbitrarily because it’s so tight round these parts and I can sense it MIGHT become annoying later on. Up until now I’ve enjoyed it almost completely though, Olly Murs has a good marketing team behind him (so cynical! you mean this isn’t being sung from Olly’s heart?), and if he makes commercial tunes like this then long may he reign.
69. Kyla La Grange – Vampire Smile
Chart Peak: #15
‘when I feel this cold they’re like the fucking sun’
NOTIONALLY Kyla’s biggest hit (going by Youtube views) (before Cut Your Teeth of course) Vampire Smile was cruelly underrated by me back when I first heard it, but recently I’ve began to notice it far more, and given what they’ve done to Heavy Stone, it’s the standout on (the normal version of) Ashes. It’s a very short song, falling quite a bit short of the 3-minute mark but it’s glorious while she is singing. It’s the sort of song you can listen to over and over again because it really is one very long and very excellent chorus that one listen just does not suffice for.
68. Timoteij – Tabu
Chart Peak: #3
‘Vi dansar genom hela natten’
And finally we come to another Melodifestivalen-adjacent song, the force that was my discovery of the best foreign-language girlband in existence and their second single from the album of the same name. On hype after getting the album, this raced into my top 3 for two weeks and while it isn’t quite up there with the best from this year, or anywhere near as good as Stormande Hav, it’s a pretty fantastic song nevertheless, with a chorus that defies you to not sing along. Also a dubstep breakdown. Those are inescapable. (and I wish we’d return to that given the weak tropical breakdowns we have these days)
67. Owl City – Silhouette
Chart Peak: #8
‘is it over yet, will I ever love again’
The spiritual successor to Vanilla Twilight and Lonely Lullaby from Adam Young’s past two albums, this is the token track where the instrumental gets more thoughtful and he pours out as much emotion as he possibly can into this one song. And that’s done remarkably well, it doesn’t really feel forced at all, all that’s left is beauty. It’s the opposite end of the album from Good Time or Bombshell Blonde, and I really appreciate Adam’s versatility here. Towards the end particularly, ’cause I walk alone, no matter where I go’ is a perfect lead-in to the final chorus also. I think I might cry.
66. Kaija Koo – Vapaa
Chart Peak: #9
‘En odota yllätystä, en pidätä hengitystä.Mä haluan jättää sen kaiken taakse, tää mun pakoni loppuun juostu on’
I know it is a little old but this song is too fantastic to leave out. Sent to BJSC perhaps on a Finnish high, this Finnish hit from 2010 was the best of them all. Unfortunately I got stuck in the opposite semi and wasn’t able to help it out. In fact, I might not have, it didn’t begin to hit me until afterwards and I realised that we’d ignored a gem. I have no clue what the chorus is about, but it really FEELS like skilled language, although that might be because of the bizarre spellings in the section I’ve highlighted alone. It lifts and lifts until there is no more lifting to be done, and some day I really want to find another song similar to this so I can finally send a Finnish-language song to a song contest here. (I would in the future send many Finnish-language songs to BJSC, this would not be the end of that)
65. Disclosure feat. Sam Smith – Latch
Chart Peak: #3
‘Now I’ve found you in my space I won’t let go of you’
This is all really incredible stuff up here, btw (and yet Latch should still be higher but I don’t think I’m going to need to demand major changes from past me). At number 65 is one of the more recent hits on my chart, Disclosure’s breakthrough single Latch. It really passed me by at first and I was struggling to come back to it, yet as I continued listening I became addicted to it. It did help that a lot of people I knew at uni really loved it too, and with a catchy, dancey chorus, punctuated by little vocal sound effects here and there giving emphasis to Sam Smith’s own vocals, it’s one of the most skillful and unique hits of the year. (just a shame Sam Smith would produce nothing but crap for his solo career)
64. Rudimental – Feel The Love
Chart Peak: #2
‘you know I said it’s true’
Big hit of the summer Rudimental’s LOREEN-BLOCKING wonderful trumpet-filled hit comes in at #64. I forget what held it off #1 for me, although it probably was Loreen. If it wasn’t for the trumpets and the great production it would be nowhere near here, the lyrics are incredibly basic – but they make it quite an event, especially in the final third. It hasn’t aged GREATLY listening now but it’s a summer dancefloor hit so listening to it with a part-hangover on a winter night is probably not the best idea to catch it at its greatest. (hahahaha, this hasn’t aged super for me but it’s still cool)
63. Rachel Sermanni – The Fog
Chart Peak: #9
‘must I hold my hands up…my BLOODY hands up’
Fljótavík’s best entry this year – unpopular opinion probably with Youth, Spectrum and Cerahtonia around but it keeps dragging me back to it, a wonderful slice of moody indie-pop that gets almost creepy at times. It’s gotten better with age as well, Rachel’s vocals are not the sort one tires of easily, they really do sound ‘foggy’ in some way, and the chorus is very marchy in a subtle way. One of BJSC’s best indie-pop entries this year. (I agree, I love this tune to this day)
62. The Killers – Runaways
Chart Peak: #6
‘but I got the tendency to slip when the nights get wild”
Runaways would be far higher up on here if I was doing a points system but that’s largely because I kept it around in the lull between its premiere and commercial impact. While it is a lovely song it doesn’t quite match up to the previous highs of The Killers’ releases and while they’ve survived a comeback better than Muse (neither of their singles made it near my top 212) (and next time round, the fortunes would change, although this has been the most recent Killers album so… but I had a weird anti-Muse year this year, I love them nearly all the time) one of my previous faves in alt rock are probably on their way out in producing ultimate moments.
61. Lana Del Rey – National Anthem
Chart Peak: #4
‘it’s a love story for the new age’
Like Runaways this would have been far higher using a points system but again that’s due to it being in my chart for ages waiting for the single release. It’s only the third best Lana song that’s charted for me (and the other two have higher peaks) – largely due to slightly less emotion than those other two masterpieces. An upbeat song from her is however very welcome after a lot of downtempos and for the most part it delivers excellently. Different voices in the verses and a positive feeling compared to the last few singles, and a video everyone says is amazing (but I don’t really see don’t MURDER me people (have completely forgotten what that was about)), and you have quite the winner for success. Funny how that worked out.
60. Owl City feat. Breanne Duren – Honey And The Bee
Chart Peak: #1
‘but still my heart stops without you, cause there’s something about you that makes me feel alive”
A hit that is on here almost entirely because I randomly charted it at the beginning of the year. It was never released as a single from All Things Bright And Beautiful and I had no reason to chart it other than I was playing it over and over. And over. It’s now my second most played Owl City song behind Fireflies. Me and my brother have actually started working on recording a cover of it with me doing Breanne’s vocals as I sing slightly higher (but it’s nowhere near ready for public consumption before anyone asks (and thankfully we never finished it, that would have been embarassing)). It’s a perfectly paced duet, a wacky chorus about plants and birds and whatever and it’s addictive. I might have said I like duets earlier in the countdown because of the contrast between the voices. This is a perfect example of that. So a random hit but no less one that’s deserved for me.
59. Ronya – Hyperventilating
Chart Peak: #8
‘Testing all my weaknesses, exactly where to press’
My favourite winner of the BJSC this year, and surprise surprise, it goes to the only Finnish winner. Hyperventilating is, naturally, a rather breathless song made what it is by Ronya’s delivery. I discovered it before BJSC but that’s only because I listen when Pavel posts a song in the pop forum and says it is amazing. There is talent in this young woman and I hope it lasts beyond just this (and Annoying, yes). One of Finland’s best non-Nightwish exports of the year. (and still the only winner that I literally threw all of my support behind, even years later, not that I don’t love other winners and this isn’t my favourite of them, that’d be Ramelia from the list in this thread, but they didn’t get my full support at the time)
58. Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe
Chart Peak: #10
‘traded my soul for a wish’
This song really needs no introduction. However, I was fanning over it when it was only #20-ish on the Canadian charts, before it even got entered into BJSC #toteshipsterindie. It’s lasted this long in my affections purely because it’s so happy and joyful and unashamedly pop. The lyrics have been picked apart by every comedian ever by now and it will probably be remembered more for its memes than the actual good song it is (and it’s by no means Carly’s highest song on this chart), however I do love the whole package, no matter how mainstream or ridiculous it is. Also it’s very fun to get a DJ playing this on the dancefloor.
57. First Aid Kit – Wolf
Chart Peak: #1
‘when I run through the deep dark forest long after this begun’
ANOTHER #1 so soon. They really are dropping like flies. Wolf was a bit of a ‘need to change #1, lets give First Aid Kit one’ thing in my chart and while it had a good run after, that was largely me listening to it more and justifying it. It’s a very good song but has absolutely nothing on Emmylou. It does give a good impression of wolf life, at least the chorus does. Or I’m just making this stuff up, I just enjoy listening to it an awful lot.
56. M83 – Midnight City (as I said in 2011, this would be so high for me now, which is why it appeared in consecutive years I guess)
Chart Peak: #4 (#5 in 2012)
‘following the neon signs’
IIRC this was #66 last year, now it’s 10 places higher. Despite the fact I really love it and it’s probably deserving of a higher position overall, this is what you get when you spread out among two years. I recharted this because of its brief official chart resurgence and it has been given many a play this year, those synths have never ever gotten old. I think after this and Princess Of China, there is only one more song that was high up on my EOY chart last year getting up there again. And it’s a fairly obvious one.
55. Lindsey Stirling – Crystallize
Chart Peak: #13
The only instrumental in my singles chart, and what an instrumental it is – being exactly what the Youtube video says, a dubstep violin instrumental. It’s a fantastic piece of music and one I never tire of hearing. Also one of my most pleasing surprise successes in BJSC, the other one is still to come. Can’t believe I only gave it 4 points originally, it is worth far more than that and finishes up as my second favourite from that contest (and now, favourite). Despite it being dubstep, it’s really.. soothing. That’s all I can think of. It also manages to sound as epic as a violin piece can. (now what I can’t believe is that it took me nearly two years to follow up on anything else Lindsey Stirling related, I’d count her as one of my favourite artists now… speaking of, I really should get her latest album)
54. David Guetta feat. Sia – Titanium
Chart Peak: #1 (#5 in 2012)
‘ricochet, you take your aim’
I didn’t want to put Titanium too high as it had already been my year-end #1 and it really feels more like a 2011 song to me given how much I played it back then. Yet it definitely had some influence on my 2012 and now the overplay’s gone it sounds almost as good as when I had to play it 5 times in a row each time I thought about it. Notionally one of my absolute faves on this list but it’s already had its time at #1 so will have to settle for just outside the top 50 this time. Guetta really had some good production this era, did he not? Even Without You sounds amazing now.
53. The Wanted – Chasing The Sun
Chart Peak: #16
‘until forever comes’
One of my longest running non-top 10s of the year, Chasing The Sun was surprisingly pervasive (and sounds epic on the chorus). It also really cemented my love for The Wanted as Britain’s best boyband. I couldn’t tell you what I Found You sounded like though. I’m crazy like that. Coming for my second-favourite Wanted song, behind the all-conquering Lose My Mind, and one of the few boyband songs I can honestly say I’ve never gotten bored of.
52. Jessie Ware – 110% (now officially known as If You’re Never Gonna Move, but it’ll always be 110% to me)
Chart Peak: #17
‘now if you’re never gonna move, all night long’
We seem to have lost the music video in the name change controversy. ANYWAY, I keep thinking every time I see a non-top 10 hit that ‘this’ll be the last’ but it probably isn’t. 110% took a little while to fully grow on me, but I always appreciated it far more than other Jessie Ware songs I had heard (the rest that I’d heard at that point honestly feel rather plain). Thankfully I do kinda like all her singles Night Light and after, but none as much as the bubbly, infectious pop song that is 110%. The sample of ‘carving my initials on your forehead’ works brilliantly to lead into each chorus and her voice is just perfect. I know she is well liked around the internet and if she continues making songs like this I’ll be all for it. (although I wouldn’t really follow her after this but this was an excellent one off)
51. Pernilla Karlsson – Nar Jag Blundar
Chart Peak: #4
‘Som en sjö utan vatten, som en lykta utan ljus’
SECHS PUNKTEN. You can always count on Finland for a good Eurovision entry (years that are a multiple of 3 + 1 excepted) and 2012 was no exception, with a beautiful Swedish ballad sung by the rather lovely Pernilla. Sadly, she flopped to all hell, joining Lose Control and Tykoi Ellaa in Eurovision purgatory (Finnish entries that aren’t Lordi always get worse than they deserve). It was always destined to fail now I look back at it but still I was rather devastated. Not as much as for Verjamem and Love Unlimited as I saw it coming, it just hurt more to see a better song miss out on the final. Finland to come back with ROCK POWAH POWAH with Arion this year please.
50. Dia Frampton – Billy The Kid
‘I’ve got you in my sights’
A triumph for the Voice series as a whole, Dia Frampton produced this great track for her album. I discovered it through BJSC, so it’s another win for that contest (thank you Liam) – so perfect for a pop song. The lyrics are something about the Wild West and despite me not really liking that as a genre the story is really well told. I just can’t get over Dia’s sultry tones and the fantastic undercurrent of a beat. AMAZING. One BJSC entry that’s stayed with me for the whole year and my 6th favourite discovery from there this year as a whole.
49. Simple Plan feat. Sean Paul – Summer Paradise
‘and we were never gonna say goodbye’
A bit of a random #1 for me – a summer hit that further proves the rule of a song with ‘paradise’ in the title being exceptional (Paradise, Lost In Paradise, Dark Paradise etc (something that still mostly holds, although I’m ashamed I didn’t mention Gangsta’s Paradise here)). The singer’s vocals seem so full and pure, despite it being a dance hit – this is what you get when pop-rock teams up with Sean Paul (who does his usual thing of butting in where he doesn’t really belong – although his verse is fairly fab). I’m SLIGHTLY ashamed for liking it so much but it seems impossible to dislike and always makes me smile.
48. Katy Perry – Wide Awake
‘crashing from the high’
Proving that I like rocky, ballady Katy the best out of all her various styles she’s covered in her Teenage Dream, this final close to the era of Wide Awake really stuck with me far more than the previous single Part Of Me. Reminding me a little of Evanescence, always a good thing, her vocals are among her strongest here, and the whole thing has a natural ending feel to it. A great high from an artist who’s had an on/off era with me, and has probably ended up third out of all her songs behind The One That Got Away (top 10 last year) and the always reliable Hot N Cold (and has probably overtaken Hot N Cold if I were to recalculate now). Katy has matured greatly from the artist who burst onto the scene with I Kissed A Girl and this is the zenith of that maturity for me.
47. of Verona – Castles
‘I guess what I have found, is a castle on a cloud’
SERIOUSLY NOW, if you have never heard this before, mainly you BJSC pop people who don’t enter UP, listen to it (and that goes for anyone who may be reading this blog in the far distant future, you too). It’s a slice of popelectrorock gloriousness that will make all of your lives better. Except those who didn’t give me points in UP. The chorus is so singable, at times it reminds me of Avril Lavigne, at others Ellie Goulding. Probably a cross between those two. Coming second for me in only my third contest, it’s something quite special for me, as I was stunned by how well it did. At least with Love Stuck I was sort of expecting that kind of success. I do sometimes wonder how it would have done if I had entered it to BJSC, and I conclude it would have also smashed but not quite as hard, it’s extremely poppy for Unknown Pleasures but it clearly fits there like a glove. Maybe y’all can watch out for of Verona coming to Séyetana next year. Incredible band with an incredible song. (never ended up entering them to BJSC myself but other people did and while Castles is still their best, good band)
46. Train feat. Ashley Monroe – Bruises
‘Can’t believe how the time flies by, leaving you makes me wanna cry’
The third single from the best era Train have done – a DUET with a female singer. Catnip for me, especially given her vocal talent (and I have never heard of before but that does not matter (I think she’s some country singer, I don’t know, I have no idea who all the interchangeable people in US country are)). An instant highlight from California 37, it took them way too long to release it as a single. Not quite my favourite Train song, their second single is still to come, but my second favourite. I don’t know if this was ever released in the UK, but it sounds like a huge radio hit, and given Drive By is so inferior, when they had this in their arsenal, why did it not lead off the album? (because money) WASTE. Not that it matters as Drive By smashed but STILL.
45. iamamiwhoami – goods
‘I bring you my history that I expect your tender arms around me’
The only iamamiwhoami track to instantly hit me. I put it down to the swagger Jonna has that the beginning of the video. It’s so dancey – something I couldn’t imagine from them on the basis of sever, drops and even play before this premiered. Really sounds like the song with the most hit potential from Kin and is the highest peaking – maybe next time you can get a #1, Jonna, eh? The sounds she are making feel so ethereal and magical for a track like this, and I really want to get up and dance right now. (haven’t listened to this in so long, I’m getting the itch to be all indie again)
44. Ivi Adamou – La La Love
‘i feel the energy’
SIEBEN PUNKTEN. One of only THREE Eurovision-related #1s this year, I suppose Euphoria blocked them all from the top, this early release from Ivi managed to largely avoid the Loreen juggernaut. Cyprus’ best effort in years, it’s a rather basic song and I forgot about it after the initial ‘MUST PLAY THIS NOW’ wore off quickly, only to return for that performance in Eurovision. Stunning example of a pop song with legs going into Eurovision. If there had been no Loreen I suspect this would have done very well indeed, it certainly would have eclipsed Greece live.
43. Rae Morris – Don’t Go
‘sunshine slowly falls from your eyes’
Because BJSC entries have shit chart runs despite me loving them loads. One of the most beautiful entries I’ve ever discovered from there, one that should have gotten my 12 points in retrospect, despite me loving Happiness and Bodywork, my top 3 have ended up in the reverse order here. XLIII was my favourite contest of the year and this is my favourite entry from it, one that really should have smashed for FSR Rontvia (thank god it qualified, I didn’t even give it that much in the semi). An emotional piano ballad reminding me of a quirky Christina Perri at her best (a HUGE compliment from me), it’s my 5th favourite BJSC discovery of the year. It sounds like something that should have been huge, Rae doing a Gabrielle Aplin route to success (they strike me as being not TOO dissimilar) in a few years would be lovely. (she managed to get some minor success but nowhere near enough, although I never loved anything she put out as much as I loved Don’t Go here either)
42. Taylor Swift – Eyes Open
‘now we’ve stepped into a cruel world’
While Safe & Sound is LOVELY, this is the better of the two songs that Taylor did for The Hunger Games (nah, swapped them around now), and the better of the two that finally and completely won me over to her as an artist. It SPEAKS to me.. in some way. It might be the eyes. I do like keeping them open. Many puns on my username (then Eyes) intended. At the time I was incredibly surprised that I was putting not one but TWO Taylor songs at the top at the same time, now I Knew You Were Trouble has gotten to #1 on my (unpublished, cba) chart. That’s how to become a fan (have every album, I did before thanks to my brother but it doesn’t matter) (and then I would retract my fanship when that awful Shake It Off thing came out and never went away)
41. St. Lucia – September
‘hold me down, let me drown’
4th most played song of the last 3 months according to last.fm I don’t care about getting things right in my chart. The fantastic piece of electropop has the most wonderful extended synthy intro before the vocals come in and merge beautifully to a great climax. Addictive as anything. Dear god, it took a while for it to grow on me when it was entered into BJSC but once I’d properly listened to it there was no way this wasn’t getting my 12. I’ve started to check out some of St. Lucia’s other stuff and while it’s fairly good (Before The Dive in particular, will keep following him if he makes stuff like this) September is the best. Also the best song by far on FIFA 13, there are normally a couple of fantastic songs on their soundtracks with Rhinestone Eyes, Ace Of Hz and Fire With Fire all on there in the past… all in ’11 eh.. so that is always enjoyable when it comes on. NEARLY NEARLY NEARLY got in my top 40 but not quite. Everything here is too close. (I really should have put this in my top 40, or rather, top 10)
40. Little Mix – Wings
‘your words don’t mean a thing, I’m not listening’
So we kick off my top 40 with my most pointed #2 of the year and with the only act to have 3 songs in this top 40, LITTLE MIX (best x factor winna ever and for all time, Burke who? (okay, this is slightly embarassing, they are the best thing to come out of X Factor and generally the only one I’ll admit to liking in public but I overrated them a bit around 2012-13)). I was slightly disappointed with this initially and it’s my least-favourite of their charting singles on balance but as the quality is so high from them so far, that’s not too bad. Highlights here are the individual verses, but the harmonies are so tight which makes the chorus fantastic too. Turned out to be a great little pop song in the end and while it’s been a good year for #1s, this is one of the best (10th according to my votes in that thing in the chart forum, so 8th when you take out Paradise and Titanium)
39. Train – 50 Ways To Say Goodbye
‘she went down in an airplane, fried getting suntanned, fell in a cement mixer full of quicksand’
I maintain that Train were high when they wrote this. Straight from my most pointed #2, to the one that spent the most weeks there without getting #1 and Train’s best song ever – bizarre lyrics do that to me (I maintain this opinion, I mean, it’s Train, no one’s going to slaughter me over not choosing Drops Of Jupiter, which is still in a close 2nd). Aside from those lyrics, it seems perfect for success, well-timed trumpet and a standard Train sound so it flopping was rather awful. I have no shame in admitting I was utterly obsessed with this for a little while. It’s the more interesting cousin of Drive By with a tune lifted from Phantom Of The Opera *.*. Well, lifting a classic tune for your instrumental worked for Gotye so why not.
38. Eleftheria Eleftheriou – Aphrodisiac
‘over and over I’m falling’
ACHT PUNKTEN. I have no shame and I am incredibly shallow (I remembered this, you perv, this is probably me at my most egregious, still a good song though) but this is the better of the two Greece and Cyprus pop songs annihilated by Loreen. On the face of it it is a basic pop song but every time I hear that intro I fall in love for the next few minutes. Probably my favourite Greek entry out of the ones I’ve heard (nah, not quite now, I’d put OPA ahead, but then, this is Greek Eurovision entries we’re talking about), I have very un-credible and unusual taste in their entries, loving OPA most before this appeared and not understanding why My Number One won, least good winner of its decade hi. Back to Aphrodisiac, (which sounds like everything MNO should’ve been) it’s a 3 minute sugary summary of what Eurovision is, and that’s why I love it. I’m still kinda in love with Eleftheria, which honestly has nothing to do with it. Seriously but she is FIT AS. (I mean, I can’t disagree! but perv)
37. Lisa Miskovsky – Why Start A Fire?
‘all the roads we are travelling up and down’
This HAS to be my last non-top 10. This was only because I thought it was nice in Heat 4 of MF but didn’t get the MP3 until much later, long after she’d failed in the final. I belatedly charted it but didn’t put it top 10. It’s a fantastic song from someone I hadn’t heard of before this, but then it was my first Melodifestivalen. It also sounds a lot like Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart, which is a road which you can never go wrong on. I wonder where you came from, Lisa, and why I didn’t show enough love to you first time round. (mmm, she’s fairly good, I’ve discovered Sing To Me since this, also a tune) Worth so much more than NINTH.
36. M.I.A – Bad Girls
‘Cover me, cause I’m changing lanes’
Proving that M.I.A can do no wrong again, one of my longer top 10 hits of the year in Bad Girls. Also probably the worst injustice of the year when it somehow missed the top 40, leading me to coin the now well-known Buzzjack phrase ‘I am cry’. Bad Girls is nothing particularly NEW for M.I.A but it’s catchy and just done much BETTER than many of her singles. Also, the VIDEO.
35. Greta Salome & Jonsi – Never Forget
‘And when the golden sun arises far across the sea, the dawn will break as darkness fades forever we‘ll be free.’
ZEHN PUNKTEN. It’s going to be quite a while until we get to my favourite Eurovision song but you all know what that is so while we have a bit of unpredictability in our lives, here’s my second favourite song from there, in the form of Iceland’s… Scandinavian-duet-with-slightly-rocky-voiced-female. OH COME ON Iceland, you’re just PANDERING to me now. But I like it, hee. I did like it in the original Icelandic but lyrics do help a song for me and the English version makes it feel that much more epic. Should absolutely have not finished as low as it did. (although sadly, worse was to come for Greta, with a song that would outshine even this, I swear…) The video is also one of the best I’ve ever seen for a Eurovision song, still gives me chills even now.
34. Little Mix – DNA
‘I’m the X to his Y, it’s the colour of his eyes
Despite not peaking as high as Wings, it was a busier time of year and I do love this more, the best of Little Mix’s original songs. It’s a pop stomper and that’s really all there is to it. While I prefer them doing happier stuff like in the Wings video, I still love the DNA video for what it is. Someone more into describing pop songs (probably a lot of this forum) would probably give a more lengthy commentary so I’ll leave that to them. Also Leigh-Anne’s verse. *.* Similar to what Frankie sometimes does for the Saturdays but BETTER. (let’s just forget about this and ignore that it’s here instead of #120 or something)
33. Professor Green feat. Sierra Kusterbeck – Avalon
‘I have your sword and cape, if you need them I’ll be swimming in the lake’
A good way to get me to love something is throw in considerable mentions to something about the past or historical legend, particularly something not often covered. Therefore a song based around King Arthur’s legends of the mythical island that healed his wounds, Avalon, is going to hit home with me. And then we have a female rock-vocal doing the chorus? PERFECT. I’m not really here for Professor Green but he does a fair job considering he’s hasn’t had as solid an era as his first one (and now his lyrics are so familiar to me it works completely fine). Sierra’s vocal on ‘when everything was wrong and everything was gone’ is perfect every SINGLE time. Actually her vocal is perfect throughout but especially there… I could use a part 2.
If I could, I’d run to Avalon. (absolutely, not many people seem to rate this high but this is now one of my favourite ever songs and probably the pinnacle of singer-rapper songs for me – it mainly is that historical context thing but I’m so cool with that)
32. iamamiwhoami – sever
‘almost forgotten, the way we used to live for play’
The best thing to come out of the iamamiwhoami project. It took a long while to hit me – but it’s perfect. Much better than play, which was all I’d heard prior. A beautiful, raw ballad which just sounds haunting on record – detached and not quite of this world – a very original take on a pop song. If the whole of the project sounded like this I would be all over it, but this and goods are the only two that make me want to rave about it in quite the same way that Pavel et al do. (I like the rest of the project well enough actually, although that’s mainly just Kin, I can’t keep up with everything in music sadly)
31. Marina & The Diamonds – Primadonna
‘you say that I’m kinda difficult, but it’s always someone else’s fault’
Clearly one of my largest epiphanies of 2012 was realising just how amazing Marina & The Diamonds is. As in, playing both albums over and over, resulting in a strong 4th best on last.fm for the last 12 months where previously she had been nowhere. A lot of that was due to her ‘comeback single’ Primadonna. Despite me going off it briefly at one point, it’s her best single from Electra Heart and the only one to go anywhere near #1 for me. Her vocal delivery is great and it should have been on course to get a top 10 but we all know how that failed. 20m views and a perfect pop song to lead off a perfect album is not bad though.
30. Loreen – My Heart Is Refusing Me
2012 run: 05-02-07-05-11-17-27-24-34-35-37
‘now I wanna leave but I’m lost’
This has appeared on my EOY charts twice now, in 2011 as I discovered it, and in 2012 for the new version as second single from Heal, which made it better and I’m not sure how that was possible. Either way, the added production gives it more of a wow factor, and that was enough for me to chart it as a ‘completely new’ song. A great contrast from Euphoria for people to hear, but has it even done anything internationally?
29. Years Away – Starting Fires
‘lay your hand in mine we are running out of time’
7 months on (make that 4 years on) and this is still the only thing Years Away have uploaded to their Youtube channel. Eraserhead exists but I really do want more from this band. It has less than 3000 views still, which is just awful in terms of how good it is. Possibly my most inspired BJSC entry this year, I remember being genuinely surprised when it qualified and didn’t break my final streak (which I lost the next contest. A streak of NINE and I lost it) – it doesn’t sound like a big smash at all but a few people really got behind it and I was really touched. Beautiful song with a great amount of crashing drums, I do still count this as one of my favourite entries and since it started off the one-way Allecian >> Séyetana train of points I mark it as a turning point. (I’m so cruel to my friends sometimes)
28. Charlotte Qvale – The Beginning Of The End
‘you walk the highs and I walk the lows’
One above my entry to XLVI, it’s my 12 from that contest and my 3rd favourite BJSC discovery this year, the wonderful slice of Scandipop (as featured on that website) that is The Beginning Of The End. It passed me by when I listened to it before hearing it in the contest, as did the other two BJSC entries still left in, but I count it as a discovery because I didn’t realise how great it actually was until the contest. The instrumental synths and fantastic progression along with Charlotte’s lovely vocals really make it. I got addicted.
27. Ruby Frost – Water To Ice
‘we’re upended, living in a red glass volcano’
I think that should be a red crystallised ice cube. I found this on Popjustice and decided to send it to BJSC, and it got fairly wide support so that was pleasing. I checked out Volition after that and we know what happened there – I should really check out more of my BJSC acts’ albums. There’s a lot of things to make comparisons to, it sounds like the perfect indie-pop song to become a big hit, as it sounds very commercial (and it peaked at #3 in New Zealand’s charts apparently so it succeeded there). Her vocal delivery on here is perfect, even singing ‘WATER TO IHICE’ sounds compelling. My third favourite entry this year, also my third highest in terms of point gain. Woo hoo and all that, the one good thing Jack has done with his chart is putting this high. (and probably now my second favourite of the ten I entered this year, it really has aged well, much better than Porcupine)
26. Santigold – Disparate Youth
‘they said our dreams would carry us and if we don’t fly we will run’
As this starts I’m reminded just how much of a triumph for electronica it is. I can be in pretty much any mood to listen to this, Santi does a fantastic detatched delivery and the occasional bursts of guitar strumming elevate it. A brilliant tune for the early summer and a highlight of Santigold’s work that I know. Oh yeah, and this is about as indie as the top 30 is getting, I’d be surprised that the alternative tune I chose this year is this one – it’s fantastic anyway. Every song from hereonout is a genuine 11/10 moment.
25. Alyssa Reid – Alone Again
‘and the night goes by so very slow’
I prefer P Reign. I first heard this last year, along with ‘The Game’ when I entered that one into BJSC – and while it wasn’t quite as good as Heart’s original, it was not entirely a disgrace to the original, I thought it was quite a good tribute actually, Alyssa puts so much emotion into it, at least from my point of view. It was something I never imagined would get big so it was quite surreal seeing a song that I’d discovered and played loads suddenly start receiving airplay and hype from radio stations across the country. I imagine this would have been even more pronounced had I entered this instead of The Game to BJSC – I can only imagine how Ryan or Hits feel (although it was heartbreaking to see BJ have a generally negative reaction to it, firstly, where were the people who gave ‘The Game’ points, secondly, YOU NORMALLY GO FOR THE CHEAP POP SONG BUZZJACK WHY NOT THIS TIME? and to bum Rita Ora/Tulisa at the same time just gives me a feeling of INCREDULITY (to be fair, that probably wasn’t the same people but still)). If anything, this was far more of a surprise hit than Carly or Gotye, already charting well internationally when they were entered, while Alone Again was only a quick top 10 hit or something in Canada (yes I know I didn’t enter this exact song but The Game sounds extremely similar so work with me hurr). The UK release eventually found me giving this song a week at #1. Yeah, mainstreamness gave me more love for it. I am a mainstream whore. COOL.
24. Little Mix – Cannonball (urgh)
‘so come on courage teach me to be shy’
AND WHAT. Yes I prefer it to their original songs so far, maybe it’s just great to hear Cannonball sung by a female group but I really think it adds a whole pile of emotion, and I can never fail to tear up at the final chorus. I LOVE YOU LITTLE MIX. (my god, it’s worse than I thought, I was 19 when I wrote this. NINETEEN. Having said that, it is still an enjoyable cover and it’s a toss up whether I go for this or the original these days)
This was a big beneficiary of me including last December into my tally for the year too, besides, I had barely any time to appreciate it last year – this year has added a whole load of new plays and it never fails to be lovely. Best X Factor winners single (Hallelujah and When We Collide not far behind, seriously like too many of these (I do like too many of them, probably only those though and none better than their originals, making them all ultimately a bit pointless, but it does help that they tend to be at least competently sung)).
23. Ellie Goulding – Figure 8
06-10-07-02-01-01-02-05-04-05 (still charting)
‘and lovers hold onto anything’
Before I get into Figure 8, I REPENT for ever hating Anything Could Happen, it deserves a place in my top 150 now. OK? (no, it deserves a place in your top 50) This was an instant highlight when I tentatively listened to Halcyon and has never left my top 10 since, getting a spell at #1 with the announcement of it as a single. I do think Ellie Goulding can near do no wrong with her tones and production, and this is one of her best, which means it’s incredible. Probably the highest for a song released in the last few months of the year, I think everything above it is slightly older.
22. PSY – Gangnam Style (hahahaha YES)
‘oppan gangnam style’
I’m sure this needs no introduction. It seemed to be a minor curiosity when I first heard it, a K-Pop novelty with a funny video that would get forgotten soon enough (yes, I heard this about a month before everyone else did, I can be a hipster even for songs like this). Then it got big and I got swept up in the hype – there is nothing quite like being in a club and yelling ‘OPPAN GANGNAM STYLE’ to the person next you, it is an iconic song that I’m sure will be remembered for a generation. Maybe in the way Barbie Girl or something is remembered now but if it heralds the advance of K-Pop then I will love it for all eternity. As a BIG hit, it’s one of the best this year – and as that rarity of a K-Pop hitting #1 in Séyetana but not Daehun, I can safely say this is my favourite Asian song of the year. (but better things would come for me and Asia – also, it should have heralded the real advance of K-Pop to the rest of the xenophobic world – also, to anyone reading this, I order you to go add another view to the video of this masterpiece)
21. Azealia Banks – 212
‘I’m f***ing with you, cutie-q, what’s your dick like homie, what are you into’
I suppose it is fitting that this is at #21. In a way. (be honest, you planned this, poor Azealia, this should have been a top 10) This, one of the more fun hits of the year, and the one my chart was inspired by, is also one of the most quotable hits, things like ‘imma ruin you c**t’ and ‘whatcha gonna do when I premiere’ are now iconic. That I know all the words is also incredibly fun hearing it when I’m out. And I love the video, one of the best videos, if not THE best of the year for me, all down to Azealia’s facial expressions and looking so CUTE while she’s rapping out the profane lyrics faster than any of your faves ever could. It is the hits that premiered late last year than were in general best this year and 212 is no exception. Azealia, you living legend. (don’t take that too seriously if you’re reading Azealia, we all know how awful you can get on Twitter when interacted with)
‘På ett virvlande stormande HAAAAAAAAV”
The second of three Eurovision-related #1s, and the second-highest song from Melodifestivalen this year, but not content with being beaten by Loreen in everything.. Stormande Hav is my highest foreign language song this year. The folky-sounding riff brings me in (what an awesome riff) and I stay for Timoteij’s delivery – again proving why they are one of the best girlbands around. This was actually my introduction to Timoteij and what an introduction it was, I still count this as my favourite among their songs. The drop into the chorus is one of the best girlband bridge-jumps in modern times. Seriously lovely.
19. Lana Del Rey – Born To Die
‘kiss me hard in the pouring rain’
Born To Die completely and utterly sold me on Lana Del Rey. Unlike Video Games, which still has something lacking, it has emotion, longing, and yes, the lyrics are towards the depressing side. That is what makes it utterly wonderful. Lana has accepted her fate that she will eventually die, her disinterested vocal makes this clear, and that is why you must take a walk on the wild side of life (and have fun in the meantime). INSPIRING. Added to this we have a wonderful video, crashing drums and interesting, changing vocals, and this is a triumph I thought Lana could never better (spoiler: she has).
‘you would hide away and find your piece of mind, with some indie record that’s much cooler than mine’
Autumn was coming and my new love for Taylor Swift was blossoming when she started off a fresh era with something that really wouldn’t sound out of place on an Avril Lavigne album. This means good. Taylor doing pop-rock and moving into other styles of music is an excellent departure from being the queen of country-pop that she’s normally recognised as being. I was initially hit by it a lot, but it held up far far better than I was expecting and ended up being one of the songs this year that I loved for the longest, it takes a LOT to tire on me. It honestly felt like it was never ever leaving my chart.
17. Florence & The Machine – Spectrum (Say My Name)
‘when we first came here, we were cold and we were clear’
I paid no attention to this when I got Ceremonials. I’m awful with listening to album tracks, I will pick out one or two and then listen to only them and the singles (and this is something I still do, hence my album picks can sometimes be at random and sometimes just be what everyone else said was good when the album first came out). Hence I didn’t listen to Spectrum properly until it was released as a single. I was bloody thankful that they had released it and Calvin had remixed it – bear in mind I’ve barely ever listened to the remix – as I think it might be my favourite Florence song now (and she’s excellent for the most part too). The chorus is powerful, and awesome, and while it isn’t my favourite #1, it was the number one this year I was genuinely the most pleased to see get there, as it seemed like such an outside bet before. (bear in mind this is all on the quality of the original album version rather than the remix which actually got to #1, but meh, remixes in charts basically count for the original song for me… if I like the original song, I make my own rules)
‘I will tell it to the children, if we have some, if we have some’
If you’d told me at the very beginning of the year that one of my favourite songs of the year would be a huge Norwegian song by a quirky-voiced songstrel… well yes, I would say that would be pretty plausible but the point is my love for this came out of nowhere. When it was entered into BJSC I had heard it before but it washed right over me. Now, it’s one of the most addictive songs of the year for me, just by how happy and sad it sounds at the same time. It has a similar message to Born To Die but sings it far more positively, ‘you’d better hold on’ is just beautiful. Laleh has emotional tics in her voice which make you ready to cry at points, and it is the sort of song I would feel happy crying to. I have played it 81 times, enough to rank 7th in plays for the year and not counting my own entries or ones which have since become big (the one I’m referring to there is due to Tinnmark also) my most played BJSC entry this year – and the closest one to making #1. It’s just stunningly beautiful – and my second favourite discovery of the year from that contest. (and now, my favourite discovery from the contest of all time, it is so goddamn beautiful)
15. Labrinth feat. Emeli Sandé – Beneath Your Beautiful
‘I’m gonna climb atop your ivory tower’
Listening to Electronic Earth – this was about the only new song on there worth keeping, a disappointment from an artist who had had a 100% hit rate for me prior to that. Interestingly, prior to this, Emeli Sandé had a near perfect hit rate, she hadn’t quite turned as bland as she has now. Now, I would say this is both artist’s best… and… a million times better than the rest of the shite they released in 2012. Something about the way this is sung appeals to me loads. The slightly imperfect way they sing feels real and not forced at all – and the song builds to a very tantalising climax. It’s telling when I would happily listen to a big hit no matter how many times I’ve previously heard it, and enjoy it all the way through, and this is one of them. (don’t really listen to this now but I’m not disowning it, Labrinth’s consecutive annual top 20s would stop after this, but it’s a cool song and indeed, definitely the best both of the artists involved have ever done)
‘but I’m not asking for a storm’
My favourite BJSC discovery of the year, thank you Atonement. Like the rest of the top 3, I had heard it and knew of it’s existence but it was only through being entered that I listened to and began loving it. I cannot express how good those vocals sound to me, like warm honey at just the right temperature, or something ready to give you a soft hug. It’s of a sad nature but the emotions are running RIFE throughout the song – and they never let you go until the instant the song finishes. If First Aid Kit have anything like this on their first album I will race to that immediately, I need more folk-pop like this in my life. It cries out, longing to be loved, and I don’t know how anyone could say no to such a sweet offer.
13. Cover Drive – Twilight
‘but recently I don’t know what to do, I’m losing it over you’
The highest song on my countdown not to reach #1, all of my top 12 have been at my top spot at one point or another, so if you look in my chart archive and take out all the songs that have already been on my last chart not in December, you should have all that’s left. I think my love for Cover Drive this year has been almost as prevalent as my love for Alexis Jordan was last year, despite me only having ONE Cover Drive sig (Amanda is so so hot though, that’s why).
You should know I regret all of this (inception time, appraising stuff I said in the past of the past, I’m underlining that bit):
I thought they were an interesting act with quite a bit to offer, this isn’t showing that though.
That can not have been me.
Two months later:
Chorus is epic, it has far less potential to be annoying than Lick Ya Down, and it’s Barbadian! ‘I can feel this beat getting stronger’
I actually want to hear the album now, I’d marked Lick Ya Down as a one-off, hopefully this can get much bigger.
THAT is me. One of my favourite UK #1s of the year, and certainly my favourite ‘floppy’ one. I know no one who wouldn’t laugh at this in real life (not in a good way, in a ‘what is this shit’ way (I keep my love for these guys under wraps mostly, although if I said I liked Cover Drive now, 95% of people would not have a clue what I’m talking about)) but it’s one of my favourite pop songs of the year, interesting progression, a chorus that just sounds cool, and singing about a time of day that normally produces good music. Fantastic stuff, I hope Cover Drive get a second album so we can get more of this. This isn’t even their last entry, of course, they produced something even more beautiful than this. (eh, I prefer Twilight to what’s coming now, but of course that song is also great)
‘An owl came to me, old and wise, pierced right through my youth, I learned it’s ways, envied it’s sense, but needed nothing it had’
The second-highest Nightwish song on my chart, and their 3rd #1 for their second single from Imaginaerum. The video was apparently done through a fan competition, that’s why it’s cartoony and all. It’s a beautiful song, and the closest Nightwish will ever come to doing pop, I imagine most people here would like this, maybe even more than Turn Loose The Mermaids so if you are a pop fan, give it a listen, its meaning is beautiful and its style epic. Also probably the most tranquil you will ever ever ever hear a metal band so this song is really unique. Fantastic ballad, different from Nightwish’s usual fare, and if radio had bothered giving it a chance internationally, it could have been a ‘My Immortal’ for the 2010s – yes, I am comparing it to that godly song, although it doesn’t sound much like it. A lot of this commentary time was spent thinking what it sounds like, and I’ve concluded it sounds like nothing I know of, which just enhances its beauty. (basically perfect song, listen to this, it will make you love it)
11. Swedish House Mafia – Don’t You Worry Child
03-04-02-03-09-01-02-06-08-16-12-15 (still charting)
‘see heaven’s got a plan for you’
Probably the dance hit of the year for me, and what an apt goodbye single from one of the best things to happen to dance in the 2010s so far. ‘Heaven’s got a plan for you’ resonates strongly with me with an unusual volume of emotion for a dance hit, and it finished off a trio of fantastic number ones in October – also the number one on my 19th birthday. It’s always the big hits I want to write more for, but everything’s been said about them already and on things like The Crow.. I’m just trying to get you to listen to it. To conclude, Don’t You Worry Child is inspirational, emotional, danceable, listening for both at home and in clubs and speaks to a generation. Literally everything that you could want in a song. (absolutely perfect song, for Eurodance I think this is about the pinnacle)
‘keep me hanging on a dream, I don’t wanna be love stuck’
I’m still very personally proud of that top 10 run. As am I with its performance in BJSC, one of two Séyetana-defining hits. I could have sent this two months before I actually did, opting for flops instead and all the while expecting someone else to take this. I was REALLY surprised when nobody did, especially on 47, when I confirmed it in a hurry because I thought there was a confirmation battle with at least SOMEONE (and then changed to Porcupine and that went super well) so it was my only option for 48, and it turned out it was a huge hit in the waiting.
That video is incredibly cheap, but at least they are taking their clothes off so win-win (for the two girls that is, not the crossdresser (don’t be so afraid, you won’t suddenly turn gay)). As for the song itself, which I’ve ignored so far, it is SUBLIME. Ticking, flowing instrumental to start us off before the song really kicks into gear with shouts of ‘Love Stuck’, and from there the song never slows down, alternating between rave anthem and pleading disco ballady stuff, all aided by the fabulous production from Dream Beats. It wouldn’t sound too out of place on the top 40 show and would be perfect in a club (or maybe at a cheesy night if you want to get strict here) so success please (will never happen). This is the best thing to emerge from the underground British scene this year, helped along by some canny Scandinavian producers – so lets hear a bit more from The F▲CE fairly sharpish, although there’s been nothing since this and 3 demos (and the extended mix of Love Stuck, which just adds to the joy of the radio edit *.*) so I’m not holding out too much hope. (They split, which is a shame. Also, that paragraph looks really confusing, so if you aren’t a Buzzjack denizen, this is the song that at time of writing, is the closest I’ve come to winning a contest with, still really do love it, not quite a top 10 song, but close)
‘you treat me like a stranger and it feels so rough’
If you don’t know this then you live in a hole. It’s also the biggest hit that I know that has never ever ever suffered from overplay – although I might be in a very small minority on that one. The progression is so interesting and unique, there are both male and female voices on here, and it is the most marvellous grower I know. Even if Gotye never gets a hit again (and he probably won’t) he has made his mark on music with this genre-crossing song. Aside from a few people here on Buzzjack I have seen love for it seemingly everywhere I go, a masterpiece of modern music and the rightful best-seller of the year, it hasn’t had the cultural impact that Call Me Maybe has but it is a more sublime song. This and Titanium defined the charts of early 2012 and as two songs to go down as classics, I find they compliment each other very well – one the skilled dance hit, the other the subtle indie hit.
Either way, will be happy to hear this on the radio any time and may commercial music move in this direction soon please.
Side note: The Star Wars parody makes my life worth living.
‘are you hiding from me, somewhere in the crowd’
Rihanna is no stranger to my top 10, in fact I’m such a fan of her that I haven’t had a top 10 without her since 2006 (with fabricated lists in my mind for the earlier ones of course) (good thing you’re saying that now because this’d be the last one) – and so one of her better singles making it all the way up here should be no surprise. I got obsessed with Where Have You Been for a long while after getting Talk That Talk, near half the year in fact, and it eventually spent 3 weeks at #1. The video is probably her best unless I’ve forgotten anything obvious, so many different elements harmonising, and all of them classic Rihanna.
One thing unusual about Where Have You Been is that it is one of the few times I can tolerate an extended breakdown, the one here actually being fairly interesting and certainly not annoying. That the song is half RiRiBallad™ and half RiRi club song helps its case immensely, it’s everything I want or need in an upbeat song and the line ‘where have you been all my life’ is perfect. One of her best songs ever yet it’s not even her top song here. The absence of a certain single of hers up to now should have proved that but anyway.
‘at the end of the river, the sundown beams, all the relics of a life long lived, here weary traveller rest your wand, sleep the journey from your eyes’
For a long while, my best performing entry in BJSC. Still my favourite song I have ever entered to the contest and quite probably my most inspired. Turn Loose The Mermaids is one of the few songs I have listened to more than 150 times, and still sounds as amazing as it ever did – full of wonder, mystery and intrigue. Nightwish describe it as a Celtic ballad, and you can certainly see that, it feels ancient and grand, the mermaids/sirens calling out to the wandering man to lay down and sleep, for his life has been worth living. A confluence of beautiful vocals from Anette (she elevated Nightwish into an 11/10 band and it’s a huge shame she’s left) and timeless instrumentals,I was and am still addicted to the pure beauty of it, and if, in the roleplaying world of BJSC, if I could make any song my national anthem, this would be it.
It was an instant highlight on Imaginaerum and as soon as the idea came into my head I knew I had to send it, to get more exposure to this exquisite song, and finishing top 10 was a sign that it had been a good idea. MUCH LOVE to this. (basically doing well in the BJSC with my absolute favourite band endeared me to this ballad for life, and it was an awesome song from the beginning anyway)
02-01-02-03-03-09-06-10-10-11-09-09-10-06 (still charting)
‘i chose to be happy’
Never left my top 11 yet. That’s longevity. From the moment I heard this, I knew Rihanna had done it again, this was going to be something special, and it was. Ballady midtempos from her are really what I live for, her vocals are to die for on them, and she has really matured from the past. Unapologetic may be full of references to that doomed relationship, but her singles so far are promoting a cleaner, radio-friendly image for Rihanna, and that’s largely good when it produces things like this.
Listening to it through earphone speakers on full volume really gives me the impression that this is a song I am going to love for a long time and probably will not get bored of until the end of 2013 – it’s beautiful and inspiring, and my favourite #1 of the year (if we ignore the two-year-spanning-Titanium). It’s only due to the total life the top 5 give me that it’s not quite up there. While I think Talk That Talk is more consistent, this eclipses anything on there and gets better with every listen – only time will tell if Stay has the same.. ahem.. staying power to reach the top 10 in 2013.
5. Lana Del Rey – Ride
‘been trying hard not to get into trouble but I, I got a war in my mind’
The first in my top 5 to fall is the newest, the huge surprise to me that was Ride. Like I said in my Born To Die commentary, I was quite sure she would never better that and yet when she released her Paradise EP – this jumped out as the lead single. Haunting, beautiful and inspiring completely, Lana’s delivery on the highlighted lyric, among others, gives me chills like nothing else – and here more than anything else, Lana seems so connected with what she is singing. It also hints at something brighter in the future, and a way to relax your troubles until that future comes. Absolutely incredible song – it may be Lana-by-numbers but it is the cream of the crop from that formula.
The image of her on that tyre swing along with the song itself – beautiful. (and is still my twitter background image I believe, I use twitter so little that I never saw reason to change it, still appropriate as one of the defining songs of first and second year of uni to me)
‘we got no games to play, so we got no rules’
And this one sold me on Cover Drive – if Twilight had opened up my love for them that is. My real tune of the summer here – as summer came early with a Tenerife holiday, and it’s a song that’s just so sweet and warm I had to fall in love with it. Amanda’s vocals sound incredibly sexy and inviting, and it sounds a lot fuller and more powerful that Twilight, as great as that was. A video still adorned my signature for many weeks, simply because it feels delightful – like a summer evening relaxation by a pool. In a period where Euphoria was dominating my chart and hype was sweeping Buzzjack for that, it managed to sneak three full weeks on top, all completely deserved.
It gives me the same feelings as I felt when I fell for Alexis Jordan’s Happiness, as far as I am concerned both Alexis and Cover Drive are cut from the same cloth, bubblegum pop masquerading as RnB, and all of that ‘genre’ is just fantastic (and indeed, a rare point in music where I actually like RnBish things, particularly if the singer has a Caribbean twang like Cover Drive do). Given the rest of Bajan Style sounds much like this but inferior, it’s a triumph from a group I was a bit bemused by when they first appeared, and one of my favourite songs from this year and likely to enter my all-time favourites in time. (it wouldn’t quite, but Twilight would, and they are a bit of an anomaly in the list of my favourites so they’ve done well there)
‘now wait wait wait for me, please hang around, I’ll see you when I fall asleep’
And now for a song that completely passed me by the first time I heard it. Well, not exactly – I liked it in BJSC and was quite adamant it would end up top 10 – and then it finished 20th and surprised me, because it sounded even then like a smash in the making. I only gave it one point though. (hence why I don’t really count this as a discovery from that contest even though I first heard it then, because it was only in the middle of this year, as it was taking off that I properly got obsessed) Anyway, fast forward seven months and it’s beginning to smash and a new version surfaces, which took me a while to get used to, but once it hit me, I began to love it far far more than I had originally. And it re-entered my chart and spent a month at #1. Because that’s incredibly usual and stuff. If Sparks was the tune of the early summer, this was the one of the late summer – August in particular. A mainstream, indie-rock song with both male and female voices intertwining perfectly, singing about ships and shores and lots of epic stuff like that (and how an old couple misses each other because one is dead and want to talk again, that’s even more epic, I missed that for ages), how was I ever not going to like this? It currently sits at 6th in my all-time last.fm song plays, and that’s quite deserved. While Of Monsters And Men haven’t done anything else quite topping this, they’ve certainly tried.
My only wish is that this had somehow gone top 10 here, like in Ireland and a lot of other places.
The middle 8 still gives me chills.
01-01-01-04-06-03-04-04-07-09-13-14-14-13-13-18-29-30-x-33-27-14-15-13 (still charting)
‘good morning and good night, I wake up at twilight’
And now the song of the middle summer. It was INCREDIBLY close between this and Little Talks for the number 2, not so close with this to the number 1, giving Owl City his second top 2 finish here in 3 years. It was incredibly surprising originally to see Owl City and Carly collaborating but the result was about the happiest song I could have hoped for, which was good as I was worried just prior to this that Owl City was headed down a rocky direction that didn’t suit him at all, and thankfully this proved me wrong. And we all know I like happy songs. I keep coming back to the video for when I want to see Carly at her best but the real triumph here is its longevity – I got slightly bored of Little Talks recently, not so of this, which might be because I haven’t played it near as much. It still sounds incredible every single time though – and perfectly singable. Even when it’s played at ‘cheesy nights’ – which I don’t mind at all, they normally play good music there. (haha oh you, but I maintain that this song is pretty incredible0
It’s doubtful it’ll do anything for their careers but it was nice seeing them get a smash again. At least I got the duet of the year out of it.
‘an everlasting piece of art, a beating love within my heart’
And Loreen claims yet ANOTHER End of Year #1 in these countdowns (is that like 10 of these now, she is omnipresent ), and yes, I have the same top 2 as gooddelta. It was all I could do to keep from saying it when Rich finished his countdown. What can I say, we both have fabulous taste.
I wasn’t sure at times during the year whether this would hold out long enough to be my number one of the year, unlike people such as gooddelta, Ghosty and Jonjo who I know were sure – it was absolutely excellent but so were a number of other songs. And I know I’m not seen as the biggest fan of Euphoria (although probably in the secondary level) but I AM. I WAS THERE FROM THE BEGINNING. I even had a Loreen signature for a bit so I’m clearly her #1 fan. Oh yes. (just leaving some names in there to give you an idea of how this spread across the forum, it was practically sacrilegious not to have this at #1 and instantly declare it BEST SONG EVER)
Everything to do with this song is fantastic – the instrumental is a moment on its own, Loreen performing live is incredible, the song in studio form feels special, its utter destruction of Melodifestivalen and then Eurovision a joy to watch, Loreen managing to become a mini-celebrity from it and it hitting #1 in tens of places, even into the Eurovisionphobic UK’s top 3, and the album version adding some extra strings to make the intro sound far more epic – it’s a whirlwind of achievements. Even some of us spreading love for it onto Buzzjack and attracting a little bit of hate from overhype was good at the time. I have played it almost 200 times, no song has come close to that in number of plays since I started last.fm aside from my last year’s #1, Titanium, which it sounds oddly like, and Turn Loose The Mermaids, which is just special. In the end, it wasn’t close to Good Time and with it spending a massive 14 weeks in my top 2 alone, it deserves no less. Time will tell how well it fits into my top 100 songs ever, I’ve provisionally put it at around #21 but I’ll properly sort it when I next update it, and whether it’ll stand up to Waterloo and Drip Drop as my favourite Eurovision winner and song respectively, I don’t know, but it’s getting pretty close to them.