Of Monsters and Men Little Talks
Horns, percussion, a chorus of “Heys” and a darkly sweet duet between Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdottir and Ragnar “Raggi” Þórhallsson as they remind us all we’re on the same sea even if we are on different boats. The vocal volley between a couple as they try to hold on in the wake of a storm is certain those who want to reach land can as long as they swim for the truth.
Zac Brown Band Goodbye In Her Eyes
If anyone knows anything about women, it’s Zac Brown. He’s the father of four girls. His friends, and his bandmates have helped him construct his entire career on knowing how to cut straight through to the heart of romance. Even when it ends because a woman wants to fly. This “interesting”, “smart,” and “as smooth as a glass of aged single barrel southern bourbon” tune offers a man’s gentle acceptance of how things are rather than how we want them to be even when he’s losing someone he truly loves. Magnificent.
Calvin Harris Featuring Florence Welch Sweet Nothing
If you’ve ever been the one who gave your everything and gotten little in return, you know how Sweet Nothing is. Relationships are like much else: you get what you give. Experience is a cruel teacher and learning this lesson to the rhythmic pounding of progressive beats by Calvin Harris and contralto charm of Indie chanteuse Florence Welsh is sheer magic. Just dance.
Avett Brothers Winter In My Heart
Even the pitch of the solemn sadness of Scott and Seth Avett’s melancholy “they say seasons turn in time there’s are changing, why won’t mine?” is enough to remind all of us the only good thing about winter may be its end. And as for love, it’s the fire that consumes all of us eventually. Better to have been warmed by that fire and then left out in the cold than to never have felt the heat.
Train 50 Ways To Say Goodbye
Paul Simon offered “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” waaay back in 1975 and this year Train drove that theme into outer space with their “50 Ways To Say Goodbye.” It takes two to tango and when a girl wants to go, a man has a choice: to beg her not to or let her. The effect: a Mariachi inspired jaunty number which may help convince you to make the right choice. Or at least get you up on your feet again.
Maroon 5 Payphone
We’ve all reached that point of “One more f**king love song will make me sick.” We all haven’t reached Adam Levine. Whoever hurt him and his bandmates enough to inspire “Payphone” with Wiz Khalifa’s bodacious rap influence, is walking a fresh new hell without them. The good news is we’ve all failed a relationship or twelve and can relate to the experiences Levine et al describe. We can mourn the loss or dance to the same tune about it.
Stars Hold On When You Get Love Let Go When You Give It
“Take the weakest thing in you and then beat the bastards with it” may be the best musical advice ever to be given. As powerful as chasing your brightest lights in the darkest of nights, this hope-filled Indie/Electropop inspired ditty packs a punch from start to finish. And shines as one of the best songs of this year for Torquil Campbell, Amy Millan, Chris Seligman, Evan Cranley, and Pat McGee. Reach for this tune whenever you’re feeling less than stellar and you’ll be certain to feel better in just 4 minutes and 39 seconds.
Taylor Swift The Last Time
Power balladeers Taylor Swift and Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody joined forces for her latest album “Red” and produced a song worthy of the Best Breakup Song of the year...if of all time. Swift and Lightbody are no strangers to heartache, breakups, and the messy complications of love. This duet proves that Cupid’s arrows don’t miss. They hurt like hell when you try to live around them. They hurt like hell when you have no choice but to pull them out. Just as tragic and mystifying as love itself, this tune gives your soul goosebumps.
Carrie Underwood Good Girl
Everything your mama should have taught you and your daddy warned you about can be found in Carrie Underwood’s electric, hand clapping, foot stomping “Good Girl.” Streaming guitars and a woman battling her inner and outer demons don’t make her an angel. They make her aware. And capable of knowing Cinderella’s shoe shatters when reality strikes and you have to get to gittin’.
Bad Books Forest Whitaker
When Indie rockers Manchester Orchestra and Indie folk artist Kevin Devine joined forces for tours, they coincidentally birthed one of the best bands in the history of music: Bad Books. Inspired while a home studio project was underway, the song centers around a pair of people who share this deep seated, highly obsessive relationship leaving listeners to question: “Is it love? Is it hatred? What is this?”
The 50 Best Songs of 2012 was compiled by Musicristotle, the sharp shooting, wild boy wrangling, word girl whose feats and follies have long been best accomplished while feeding the innately eclectic appetite for sensational sound.