Adventures In 2012: Top 30 Songs [#10-1]

Monday, December 31, 2012

*trumpets blare, rockets red glare, glitter bombs bursting in air*

...and here we are at the final countdown where the my top ten favorite songs of 2012 are revealed...

10. Disparate Youth - Santigold
After being worried with "Big Mouth", the skittish n' smooth rocker "Disparate Youth" eased me back to love for Santigold and her angst anthems. This time she speaks from the Millennial scope --- the bracket that I'm pretty much shoved into --- and she gives call to the fray for those who are kicking and screaming into stalled adulthood amid economic downturns and uncertain social changes. The refrain of "a life we're fighting for" echoes and rattles with political passion as Santigold delivers possibly one of the best songs she's ever penned. [Stream/View]

9. Everything Is Embarrassing - Sky Ferriera
Dev "Blood Orange" Hynes made himself a name two times out this year with his penchant for mall rat anthems, and his first touchdown was with bleached pop tart, Sky Ferriera. As the singer is feeling her way through, proved by this year's spotty Ghost EP and her brief fling at taking a stab at the Rihanna-pop market, her flowing in through this vein of melancholic synth whimsy is where she really, and truly finds her maturing niche. [Stream/View]

8. Adorn - Miguel
I don’t know if R&B is officially back, but the reconstruction of it seems poised to happen thanks to "Adorn", the steaming passion play that rattled many ovaries (those "ahh, ooh" parts...dear god almighty...) and even succeeded in getting grown men to swoon. Now the whole pending renaissance of R&B doesn't need to rest on the shoulders of Miguel, whom I finally warmed up to this year, naw, that's too much of a job to handle for one guy because it takes a village for that kind of thing. Yet, Miguel is proving bit-by-bit that he is beyond the mediocrity and persisting bullshitting of his peers (Trey Songz, Chris Brown, and Usher on his bad days), as with "Adorn" in one fell swoop, revived Marvin Gaye with the most tender of revivals. What was even greater, was that he didn't bite off more than he could chew, and still managed to give his generation the sexual heal it so desperately deserved. [Stream/View]

7. Every Night I Say A Prayer - Little Boots
The Euro-House of the 90's was resurrected to perfunctory effect this year, and leading that pack was the understated nighttime crawl of "Every Night I Say A Prayer". Little Boots (who needs to put out a new album pronto) builds up the song with a mysterious air, and then crashes the wall with it's piano-backed chorus. The catch-grab arrangement is one thing, but this song is so got damn chic that it'll take all your strength not to strike a pose (or two) as it plays out. [Stream/View]

6. Lost & Found - Lianne La Havas
It was a hard choice to figure which Lianne La Havas song spoke to me more this year, as a majority of what she displayed on her stunning debut, Is Your Love Big Enough? seemed ripped from the most private lines in my journals (yes, I'm the perpetually woeful being who owns three...), but the haunting soul stir of "Lost & Found" won my heart, as it put it through a meat grinder and set it aflame. With tear in voice, La Havas laments the lesson learned from a relationship gone stray, and begins to pick up the pieces on this healing acoustic stunner. [Stream/View]

5. Latch - Disclosure (feat. Sam Smith)
The production machine known as Disclosure have crafted my kind of song with "Latch", as it's jam-packed and sealed with dizzying synths that I'm in heaven whenever I plug it in. As I peel back every single layer present here on this exciting track, the luscious build-up and newbie Sam Smith's exuberant vocality rise up as the pinpoint moments where I had to nod my head and proclaim it as a part of my top ten numbers of this year, heck, probably one of the best songs since the 21st Century arrived. [Stream/View]

4. Losing You - Solange
As I've said it before, and I'll say it again, "Losing You" is a song that shouldn't work on paper, but miraculously does. Like with Sky Ferriera prior, Dev Hynes expertly designs a song around a brooding synthesized groove that escaped from the clutches of 80's New Wave. Just this time he adds in clopping percussion, hand-claps, and out-of-place yelps giving the song pure (yet oddball) depth, while letting Solange's whispering coos wax heartbreak, and charm us all. [Stream/View]

3. Sweet Life - Frank Ocean
Like Miguel, Frank Ocean is one everyone is looking to reassemble the blocks of R&B that have tumbled down thanks to a few current Humpty Dumpties that are clopping around in the genre. At first, I wasn't too sure about all the hype n' circumstance that was swirling around Mr. Ocean --- and I'll be the first to say that I'm one of few "writers" who will not claim him the Messiah of Musiclandia as he hasn't even reached to Jacksonian levels. Still, I can be swayed otherwise. "Sweet Life" was the effortless summery groove that sold me into Ocean's revelry as he pens the perfect soul number. Thanks to Pharrell Williams (who was the under-talked about producer this year) and his production smarts, Ocean sweet talks his way into many a hearts, including mine with this number. [Stream]

2. Running - Jessie Ware
With such an air of poise, Jessie Ware captivated the masses with "Running", a seducing number that cemented my championing of this chanteuse on the rise. I feel like I have gabbed about this song all year long, that now my tongue is pretty much tied. What other word spells could I perform that'll generate collective love for this song? What other things could I possibly say differently? All has been said, and all will be said, but it still all boils down to that everyone (including myself) will trumpet the same thing, trumpet that this song is beautiful, haunting, alluring, and oh yeah...absolutely f**king brilliant.  [Stream/View]

1. Live Your Life - Yuna
It happened earlier than I expected, but I fell head-over-heels in love with "Live Your Life". Maybe it had something to do with Pharrell Williams setting up the main architectural structure of this song with utter mastery? Or maybe it had to do with Yuna's peerless vocal delivery? Or the self-esteem boosting lyrics that were fit for a Snapple bottlecap? Or maybe it was all that and then some? Yeah, it was all that and then some that made this song the #1 song in 2012. [Stream/View]

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