With the year drawing to a close, it’s a good time to post my forty favourite songs of the year. Admittedly, a banger may première in the next two weeks but I’m risking it. Before I start I should probably warn you that if you like authenticity and credibility (ie one man and his guitar ), this is probably the wrong list for you (spoiler alert: there’s no Ed Sheeran).
40. Demi Lovato – Give Your Heart a Break
39. Conor Maynard – Can’t Say No
38. Lianne La Havas – Forget
37. Delilah – Inside My Love
36. Marina & The Diamonds – Primadonna
35. Lana Del Rey – Born To Die
34. Emeli Sande – Next To Me
33. Justin Bieber – Boyfriend
32. Nicki Minaj – Starships
31. Christina Aguilera – Your Body
30. Tulisa – Young
29. Little Mix – Wings
28. Justin Bieber – As Long As You Love Me (feat. Big Sean)
27. Rita Ora – RIP (feat. Tinie Tempah)
26. Jessie Ware – 110%
25. Ke$ha – Die Young
24. Kylie – Timebomb
23. Bright Light Bright Light – Waiting For The Feeling
22. Loreen – Crying Out Your Name
21. Spector – Celestine
20. Misha B – Do You Think Of Me?
19. Ellie Goulding – Figure 8
18. Haim – Don’t Save Me
17. Solange – Losing You
16. Jessie Ware – Night Light
15. Olly Murs – Troublemaker (feat. Flo Rida)
14. DJ Fresh – Hot Right Now (feat. Rita Ora)
13. Angel Haze – New York
12. Icona Pop – I Love It (feat. Charli XCX)
11. Kelly Clarkson – Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)
10. Girls Aloud – Something New
Pop fans/anyone with taste rejoiced in October when Girls Aloud announced that they were finally making a comeback, and they did so with Something New. This track continues exactly where Out Of Control finished: a ballsy, unashamedly pop track. Although this failed to be the monster smash that it should be, it should be the benchmark for every reunion in the future. Ultimately, this song celebrates everything that was so fantastic the first time around, and what a way to do so. I’ve taken into consideration the fact that I think this will age like a banana but for now it’s great.
9. Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe
If there was a form of scientific experiment to determine the best song of the year, I’m pretty sure this would be number one. Away from the hype and the video, this is simply a very good pop song that I like. It’s not trying to be clever like some artists that have fallen slightly into that trap this year. I don’t know anyone who dislikes this song, and when people say they don’t they are obviously lying. Although it looks likes she’ll be a one and a bit hit wonder, her album is also great.
8. Loreen – Euphoria
This years Eurovision winner was properly amazing wasn’t she? In case you didn’t know, this year’s contest was won by Loreen, the Swedish entrant. Paired with that performance, Euphoria is magic. The defining version for myself, however, is the album version, complete with string intro. This song was the first Eurovision song for ages that did well across the whole of Europe, which shows how many people connected with it. Even people I know who didn’t watch the contest were talking about it in the common room the following Monday. It just shows how good the next seven songs are that this is at eight.
7. Jessie Ware – Wildest Moments
It’s pretty clear from this list that I like Jessie Ware a lot, but this is, in my opinion, her defining track thus far. A beautiful ballad, Wildest Moments is the song that (despite minimal chart success) pushed Ware into the spotlight, and thus got her a Top Five album. This song would easily be eaten up by any X Factor balladeer, but it’s Ware’s restraint that makes this song so special. I think my favourite thing about this though is how sophisticated and effortless the whole thing is. I just hope she get’s more of the chart success she deserves in the new year.
6. Cheryl – Call My Name
The second of two entries to feature Cheryl in the Top Ten, but for me this solo effort just edges it in comparison with Something New (controversial opinion alert). Mainly for the first twenty seconds, which are some of the best seconds in music this year. The whole thing is very good though, and is my favourite thing she has ever recorded. Some may argue that the ‘Calvin Harris sound’ has been done to death this year, but when you’re doing it this well, who cares?
5. Rihanna – Where Have You Been
Much like Cheryl, Rihanna also features twice in my Top Ten. The first is with Where Have You Been, the fourth(?) single from Talk That Talk. This picks up exactly where We Found Love left off, albeit dirtier and sassier. Although it doesn’t reach the heights of We Found Love (let’s be honest, it’ll take a lot to top it), it’s still great and is better than most other dance tracks from 2012. More importantly, I just love it. The video is very good too.
4. Rihanna – Diamonds
So, here’s the second Rihanna song in the Top Ten. I remember reading that when writing this, the producers wanted to make something that sounded nothing like a Rihanna song. In doing so, they made what could be one of her classics. Minimal production, intelligent lyrics and an equally good vocal performance, this song really does (cringe) shine bright like a diamond. I have a feeling this could be her torch song after next year’s tour.
3. Cassie – King of Hearts
It’s been quite a while since Cassie last released anything of major importance. However, it was this year that she looked set to make a comeback with this tribal dance song. My favourite thing about King of Hearts is that it keeps building until it explodes in the final chorus. Unfortunately, this didn’t make a dent on any chart this year. Having said that, I predict big things for this if it’s released in the new year, and hopefully she might get round to releasing the album.
2. Azealia Banks – 212 (feat. Lazy Jay)
I realise this was technically released in 2011, but it became massive this year so I’m including it. Brash, rude and very amazing, 212 is the kind of song most rappers dream of. It’s the kind of song you want to know every word too, even if you get judged. Although it was the only single of hers that made it big this year, it made such an impact on the public conscience that I expect 2013 may well be a good year for her. Until then, I’m going to keep enjoying this.
1. Ellie Goulding – Anything Could Happen
Although the top three songs are almost equal, this track has the edge for me. It’s the euphoric production and message that gives it this edge. In my eyes the key to a good song is something that you have a connection with, and I personally have a connection with this. This is the kind of song I listen to in my room when I’m having a bad day yet equally go mental to when I hear it live (it’s very good live I have to say). It also passes the girlband test with Fifth Harmony’s cover on The X Factor USA, so with everything taken into consideration, this is my favourite song of the year. Likewise, the video to this is also my favourite of the year. I could continue, but I feel I’d end up writing thousands of words as to why this is such a good song, so I’ll shut up and let the song speak for itself.