Top Tracks of 2012: 19 – 11

Muse – Madness

Like many other acts, Muse got in on the dubstep craze. It may have left a sour taste in some fan’s mouths, but Madness is a perfect example of how dubstep should be implemented into an artists sound. Completely free of “wobwob” and jarring bass drops, the song’s driving rhythm actually turns the song into a sleek, trance inducing electro-rock song. Bellamy’s vocals are restrained until he lets loose in the song’s exciting climax.

OneRepublic – Feel Again

With a third album due shortly, OneRepublic was hard at work evolving their already unique blend of rnb, pop, and indie rock music. Before the year was up, they dropped a new single that showed off this new sound as well as a much happier OneRepublic. Soaring vocals, clap along beats, and a sing along chorus definitely made Feel Again one of the year’s best feel good tracks.

Calvin Harris – We Found Love (ft. Rihanna)

Yeah…I realize that this isn’t how the song shows up in the official credits, but this song really does belong more to Calvin Harris than it does to Rihanna. The song’s euphoric beat and energetic chorus were truly fantastic, playing like a trance-pop song that didn’t want to be pop. Yes, Rihanna’s dreamy vocals added flavor to the song, but it was Harris’s slick production that turned this song into one of the year’s most enduring songs.

Coldplay – Charlie Brown

This song is by far one of the best songs that Coldplay has ever released. Chris Martin’s unique drawl is instantly recognizable, but the band has stumbled onto one of those beautiful sounds that are truly distinguishing. The song’s rapturous guitar riffs take Charlie Brown to dizzying heights, only to allow you to gently float down before raising you up again.

Ellie Goulding – Anything Could Happen

This British muse had a huge US breakout with Lights, but it was this song that proved her artistic genius. Anything Could Happen combined a jarring and haunting arrangement with Ellie’s pure and sweet sounding voice. The result was an electo-folk-pop ballad with lyrics that truly make you believe in endless possibilities.

Maroon 5 – One More Night

Marron 5 had quite a few hits this year, but this was the only one that really brought out the funk the band is known for. One More Night’s reggae-funk infusion gave the song a unique flavor that really stood out on mainstream radio. Plus, there’s also the fact that it was ultra-catchy.

Swedish House Mafia – Don’t You Worry Child

Yes, the news of the Swedish House Mafia’s imminent breakup is definitely disappointing to EDM fans, but nobody can deny that they went out on the highest note possible. There’s nothing like a world wide hit to close an already successful career on. Don’t You Worry Child was a great way to end the year, and the song’s message was the perfect note to the fans. I’m gonna miss you guys!

2NE1 – I Love You

The usually fierce and feisty quartet decided to go in a more vulnerable direction this time around, and as per usual, they knocked it out of the park. The sythy electro-ballad proved that each of the girls possesses strong vocals. Minzy’s smooth falsetto, CL’s power belting, Dara’s soft and pure delivery, and Bom’s soulful tone all work together marvelously on this unique dance ballad.

The Killers – Runaways

The Killers made a truly spectacular return to the music scene with this arena-ready power ballad. Brandon Flowers’s voice is unmistakable, and it shines with clarity as he tells us a story of young American love. Starting with only a gentle strum of the guitar and a piano melody, the song soon picks up momentum with powerful guitars, hard driving drums, and an enveloping chorus until you’ve got a larger than life rock anthem.

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