Ah, the moment of truth has arrived. The top five songs of the year. I tried to think out of the box on a lot of these songs and not judge songs on record sales or popularity. However, like most things on this blog it came down to what I really liked this year and what some of the other people that write here on occasion thought as well. I am nothing if not Democratic. Also, if you are interested in purchasing any of my rock photos or other photos check out my shops on ETSYand REDBUBBLE. You can also follow me on Facebook for updates and on Twitter for moronic musings. So, without further adieu I introduce the top five songs of 2012.
#5 – Ho Hey – The Lumineers
The catchiness of this song is so infectious. One of the sweetest songs of love and lost. The longing is so evident in the singer’s voice that it comes through the speakers every time I hear it.
#4 – Swimming Pool (Drank) – Kendrick Lamar
Hip hop has always had a love/hate relationship with white America and Good Kid M.A.D.D. City was no different this year. I feel this is the album that could save hip hop and while writers like Jim DeRogatis from WBEZ in Chicago pile on with the usual refrains of the language and the misogyny, but what he didn’t understand or perhaps is too deaf to realize is that this album is like a Shakespearean play where Kendrick Lamar is a character as he watches those around devolve into crime, drugs and the bottle. This song exemplifies the struggles he, himself had to go through in his attempts to stop drinking. If someone were to say that Kendrick Lamar were the savior of Hip Hop they’d get no argument from me.
#3 – The House That Heaven Built – Japandroids
Like those times in the early ‘90s when punk was emerging from over a decade of indifference from the music community at large Green Day, Face to Face and Rancid came out of the woodwork to bring to the focus of everyone. Then it fell to bands like Sum-41, Blink 182 and Good Charlotte to turn it into garbage again and let it fall into disrepair. Japandroids are the ones bringing it back to the masses with gusto and this song has so much damn ferocity. Lead singer Brian King is an unreal punk vocalist who gives everything he has at every single performance live or recorded. They’re phenomenal.
#2 – Frank Ocean – Pyramids
This song starts out in ancient Egypt with Cleopatra and then she dies and we cede to part two about a man whose girlfriend works at a strip club called the Pyramid. He loves her and loves the life at first, but by the end of the song he talks about how her love isn’t free because she has to sell herself to other men to keep him happy. What this song really exemplifies is the change from a strong African queen in Cleopatra to the way women are treated as slabs of meat today. How we’ve become a society that regularly degrades women and that model of a strong African queen is gone.
#1 – We Take Care of Our Own – Bruce Springsteen
This song had more depth and more character than anything Bruce has done since The Rising. It seems that these days Bruce Springsteen works best when there’s a crisis in this country. He speaks for the working man in this song, he speaks for the downtrodden, and he speaks to the hearts and minds of those that have been affected negatively by a world that is progressively getting worse and worse. Sometimes, as Bruce says, we truly must take care of our own. This is Bruce at his best when the all-America treasure that he is gets out there and speaks to the people like a candidate and tells them to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and help each other start all over again. That is why it’s the best song of the year.