Top Tracks of 2012: 39 – 30

4minute – Volume Up

4minute as a group may have taken a backseat to Hyuna’s solo activities, but when these five ladies come together, the results are explosive. With a sleek saxophone melody, this song combined jazz and electronic dance music for a unique sound. Powerful singing from GaYoon and JiYoon helped make this an unforgettable song, and one of 4minute’s best.

The Lumineers – Ho Hey!

The Lumineers rode in on the folk-pop wave, and pleased listeners with this catchy little story of lost love. Clap along beats, earthy guitar strumming, and a rousing refrain helped make this song instantly memorable.

Gorlliaz – DoYaThing (ft. Andre 3000 and James Murphy)

Its amazing what can be done in the name of shoes. This song combined my all time favorite band, The Gorillaz, with James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem fame (also one of my favorites) and Adre 3000 (not one of my favorites, but still undeniably awesome.) Each of these three artists brought something original to this catchy little concoction.

Wonder Girls – Like Money (ft. Akon)

Maybe I am a bit biased, being a Wonderful and all, but I loved their foray into American pop music. This song combined the well planned concepts, intense choreography, and overall emphasis on groups that we all love from Korea with electronic club-pop and….well, the English language. While their choice in guest features may have been a bit grating, there’s no doubt that Like Money was a catchy pop song that proved that this group could be huge world wide pop stars if promoted properly.

Drake – Take Care (ft. Rihanna)

This song came out early in 2012, and was a huge RnB hit. However, I didn’t even start to notice this song until much later in the year. The chilled out dance beat helps to show Drake and RhiRhi in a new light that is much more interesting than their usual fair. The two trade verses in a heartfelt way, telling of a relationship that has come to an end, and explore all of the emotions that come with a breakup in this dynamic song.

SHINee – Sherlock

I have to admit that this song’s placing is based less on the song itself than it is how it was presented. There’s no doubt that Sherlock was an amazing song, but can we talk about the choreography? And each of Shinee’s live performances? Despite demanding vocals and some of the most intense choreography ever, these five guys killed it every single time! There’s no doubt in my mind that Shinee is one of Korea’s the world’s top live performing pop groups.

Matchbox 20 – She’s So Mean

I hate Matchbox Twenty. I really do. So how did this song make it this far onto my list? I have no idea. I guess it has something to do with them bringing back the sounds of the 90’s with what is, undeniably, an awesome song. Super catchy, great lyrics, and tons of fun. What else could I ask for from a 90’s band’s comeback?

Adele – Skyfall

There’s no doubt that Adele can sing the hell out of anything, but its always nice when she reminds us. Her smokey vocals added a mysterious depth to this year’s James Bond theme. With an orchestral arrangement that soars through gray skies, Adele captured the essence of James Bond with a smoldering sex appeal on this dramatic theme.

Sistar – Alone

Originally, I didn’t quite get this song. However, the song took on a new meaning once I found myself doing exactly what the song sings about…..getting drunk alone, watching movies alone, and eating alone. Once it began making sense to me, I found that I was able to appreciate the song’s unique “sad disco” beat, Hyorin’s controlled vocals, and the group’s downtrodden fierceness.

Exid – Every Night

Despite having a rough start (half of the group was axed after the first single due to personality clashes), Exid emerged as one of the year’s top rookie groups. Every Night was a truly unexpected hit for the newly reconfigured quintet. Originally intended to be simply a digital single, the song became a hit, and demanded the girls full attention. What’s even more interesting, is that this song is essentially a remix of the song Phone Call, which the group’s leader and rapper, LE, wrote herself. This smooth RnB song seemed to get better each time I listened to it, with the girl’s soft emotional singing, soulful belting, and of course, LE’s crisp rapping.


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