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10. ‘Never Close Our Eyes’ – Adam Lambert
On the second single off of ‘Trespassing,’ Adam Lambert recruited songwriter Bruno Mars and production from Dr. Luke. Over an uptempo dance-pop beat that makes you want to stomp your feet, Lambert expresses his love for another, singing, “I wish that this night would never be over / There’s plenty of time to sleep when we die / So let’s just stay awake until we grow older / If I had my way we’d never close our eyes, our eyes, never.” This inescapably catchy single, which will certainly have you dancing along, also shows off Lambert’s superior vocal skills, making it No. 10 on our Top Songs of 2012.
9. ‘Part of Me’ – Katy Perry
This is Katy Perry‘s angriest song to date. In this kiss-off anthem — part of her special edition of ‘Teenage Dream’ — Perry trades in her lighthearted lyrical fare for some shots towards her soon-to-be-ex-husband Russell Brand: “So you can keep the diamond ring / It don’t mean nothing anyway / In fact you can keep everything / Except for me..” Damn girl! With a synth-driven bass beat, this track has us dancing along to her self-empowering message, which was clearly reworked since demos first leaked two years ago.
8. ‘Princess of China’ – Coldplay Feat. Rihanna
Coldplay and Rihanna deliver an epic track with ‘Princess of China,’ which incorporates heavy synth, hip-hop with rock inspired sounds, and a Sigur Ros sample. Both Chris Martin and Rihanna take turns crooning in hair-raising falsetto tones about a romance gone awry. The chorus has a lot of pop sensibility, while the verses and hook carry a weightier tone — at points, it sounds like an entire orchestra is performing rather than just four guys from the United Kingdom.
7. ‘Starships’ – Nicki Minaj
For her lead single off of ‘Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded,’ the Harajuku Barbie strays from her hip-hop roots with the house-inspired track ‘Starships,’ which is one our Top Songs of 2012 thus far. The dancey, Europop track is one of Minaj’s favorite from her second studio LP, and has already dominated airwaves across the world thanks to its upbeat, frothy lyrics (“I’m on the floor, floor / I love to dance / So give me more, more, ’till I can’t stand“), wild post-chorus breakdown, and emphatic reggae-rap tone that Minaj implements throughout the verses.
6. ‘Payphone’ – Maroon 5 Feat. Wiz Khalifa
Maroon 5 dominated the airwaves in 2011 with ‘Moves Like Jagger,’ and it looks like they might be able to repeat this success with their 2012 hit ‘Payphone.’ Featuring a verse from rapper Wiz Khalifa, the song sounds like classic Maroon 5, with Adam Levine’s beautiful falsetto taking the forefront on the midtempo ballad. Although the lyrics are a bit sad, overall, it’s a smooth song that is perfect for the warmer months. It’s is already working its way up the charts and into the brains of Maroon 5 fans worldwide.
5. ‘Where Have You Been’- Rihanna
Rihanna takes us to the club with her 2012 ‘Talk That Talk’ single ‘Where Have You Been,’ a high-energy song that really packs a punch. The house track starts off on the slower side, with a steady drum beat and dreamy singing from RiRi. Soon enough, the Bajan hitmaker is belting out “where have you been all my life” over increasingly heavy, laser-like synth until the whirring, urgent breakdown after the chorus. ‘Where Have You Been’ is by far one of Rihanna’s most danceable songs, and it’s for this reason that the infectious club banger ranks on our Top Songs of 2012.
4. ‘Turn Up the Music’ – Chris Brown
Chris Brown is bringing his fans to the dancefloor with his new single ‘Turn Up the Music.’ Sitting at No. 4 on our Top Songs of 2012 list, this club banger features whirring, vibrating synth and pulsating drums. During the hook of “woah’s,” after Breezy urges all of the sexy people to put their hands in the air, the percussion takes on a heavier, almost tribal feel as urgent siren-esque blips find their way into the music. While it might not be the most original song, it is definitely one that will have you hitting the dancefloor and getting pumped to party it up.
3. ‘Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)’ – Kelly Clarkson
Coming in at No. 3 on our Top Songs of 2012 recap (so far) is Kelly Clarkson with her upbeat and inspiring single ‘Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You).’ It’s clear that Clarkson wants all of her fans to feel empowered: Her vocals feel like a rush of adrenaline on this post-breakup song as she sings, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger / stand a little taller / Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone.” Like ‘Since U Been Gone,’ this track is a liberating anthem for anybody who comes out of a breakup with a tougher skin.
2. ‘Boyfriend’ – Justin Bieber
Justin is all grown up on his 2012 track ‘Boyfriend,’ which is definitely one of Bieber’s best songs to date. With a clear Justin Timberlake influence (this song sounds like it could’ve been considered as a potential ‘FutureSex/LoveSounds’ track), the Biebs gets his “swaggie” on with a whispery rap intro before heading into the falsetto range on the incredibly catchy, R&B-twinged verses. Bieber also lays down a smooth chorus that has fans all over the world swooning as he sexily sings, “If I was your boyfriend, never let you go / Keep you on my arm girl, you’d never be alone.”
1. ‘Rumour Has It’ – Adele
For her fourth single off of ’21,’ Adele gets caught up in a world of gossip and false accusations on ‘Rumour Has It.’ Over a frenzy of loud, pounding drums and hand claps, Adele belts it out, letting everyone know how she’s sick of getting caught up in relationship drama and rumors. Adele sends chills up our spines as she wails, “Bless your soul, you’ve got your head in the clouds / You made a fool out of me / And, boy, you’re bringing me down,” before bringing it home on the chorus with her backup singers. This one could very well become the ‘Rolling in the Deep’ of 2012, and is our top song of the year thus far.