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The 50 Best Songs of 2012 - Page 5

50 Cent Adam Levine Eminem My Life


What happens when the absolutely hottest badboys of music join forces? Absolute, raw musical power that reminds you no matter how far you run, how much money you have, or friends you make, as long as you’re living life, it always kicks you around. Fiddy, Adam, and ‘Em all know far too well precisely how this feels.


The Shins Simple Song


Chunky guitar riffs, solid vocals, and the fascinating delicate strength of love fill your ears with a palpable gratitude for great stories played out by music. Said to be written when James Mercer and his wife were first married and waiting on the birth of their oldest daughter, this one is proof that when a man is in his darkest hours, a good woman has light enough to spare.

Alabama Shakes Hold On


Southern rockabilly is alive and well but when Brittany Howard and her band gave us “Hold On,” the whole world sang along. Bluesy guitars, snare drums, bass, and gritty vocals make you rock, fire up your heart, and shake up your soul. A true masterpiece on the canvas of rock-n-soul bar bands, Alabama Shakes does a great job of reminding us that sometimes letting go isn’t always for the best.

Jack White On and On and On


The debut of Jack White’s first solo project is as wildly eccentric and mysterious as the singer/guitarist himself. Like a flamboyant eternal flash in the infinite darkness of the universe, White’s strum of his acoustic guitar and hum of his electric one on Blunderbuss is magic. Nearly everyone has heard 16 Saltines and Love Interruption yet On and On and On is likely the best song of the album. It’s not endlessness which we humans fear as White’s duet with Ruby Amanfu suggests.

Japanroids The House That Heaven Built


Deemed the Song of Summer 2012 by many Japanroids are “pitch perfect” and tuned into the heart of humanity. Mega riffs and screaming guitars set the beat to the steady pounding of percussion, this gritty indie punk tune offers 4 minutes and 49 seconds of a glimpse into life beyond earth. Spiritual and weaving between love, hell, life, death, flesh, and soul, Brian King and his Vancouver band are here and they are now... thanks to strong lessons learned on long, lonely nights.

Grizzly Bear Yet Again


Grizzly Bear captured supporters with their first album, 2009’s Veckatimist, and three years later, carried the momentum a step further with Shields. As the fourth album of the Ed Droste led groovy group, the tune has been equated to a Thom Yorke caliber with its expanded sound and exuberant pull of the guitar strings. Sonic in complexity yet gentle and intimate, this song emotes the volleying swing between the fine art of loving someone with all of your heart yet trying to preserve your self in the process.

The Walkmen Heaven


Amazing talent brews when NYC and Philly based band members blend. When Jonathan Fire* Eater’s Paul Marron, Walter Martin, and Matt Barrick joined forces with The Recoys’ Peter Bauer and Hamilton Leithauser, the result was the production declared one of best albums of the year by Pitchfork and Stereogrum. When Heaven was released on May 29, 2012, the title track was a solid testimony to the best stuff on earth: children, old friends, love, and honest to goodness genuine music. The steady tempo, swooning croon of gratefulness, and a celebration of the best of the best with a crafty Indie rock.

Sea Wolf Old Friend


LA Indie folk musician Alex Brown Church and his rotating crew of backups may not appear to be killer whales but they do know how to have a whale of a time. Especially when they run into long ago and far away friends in search of an Old World Romance like their latest album title suggests. Old friends are like anchors in this sea of life. No matter the distance and no matter how much time passes, the suction in the water pulls us back to who we are just as our dearest and closest friends do. Reminiscent of days past with respect to the present, Old Friend mellows the sadness of lost youth with a big layered hug of instrumentals and beats.

Polica Amongster


The robotic mix of well applied technology combined with deep issues regarding the unwritten code we all live by is alive and well. And sung by Channey Leaneagh. Amongster may very well be the remedy for hip progressives with conscious values and with an appreciation for the syncretism of old school regimes yet living in the now. This song is more than disorientingly touching if you’ve ever felt your heart, mind, and (especially) body have been ever been closely bound by another despite your apparent freedom. Distinct, enthralling and startling, Amongster is heavy with bass, reverb distortion, and a megadose of divine sensuality unlike any other song. Ever.

Help us pick number 50. For the next 24 hours we're taking suggestions in the comment section of this post. The song with the most number of votes gets the 50th spot.

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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.

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