Lists · Music · Omnibus

The I, Omnibus 2012 music year in review

I assume you know the drill, so I’ll spare you the B.S. preamble. (That way, we both save time.)Here are my favorite, and least favorite songs of 2012, in the style of fake awards (the goatatars?). These are in no particular order. Obviously, all of my “songs of the Moment” are part of my favorites, so you can check those out the archives. Therefore, there will be no Top Ten Favorites, but there will be another Top Ten below. Only time will tell if these songs are a sampling of very good, or incredibly poor judgement of musical taste. As always, enjoy!

The Unexpected hit of the Year, Pleasant Surprise – “Tongue Tied” by Grouplove. I know it can take months for an indie song to cross over. Yet I wasn’t expecting to hear it on mainstream, Top-40 radio this summer, because I remember hearing this song back in 2011.
Unexpected hit of the Year, Disappointment – “The A-Team” by Ed Sheeran. I thought John Mayer single-highhandedly destroyed the white man, acoustic guitar sub-genre. This was almost as bad and boring as the “A-Team” movie; both of which have little to do with the 1980’s TV series.
The Best cover Song – “I’m Shakin'” by Jack White. How coll is Jack White? He makes the 1940’s music sound cool.
The Best song that sound like it was straight out of the 1970’s – “I Like It” by Foxy Shazam. The first time I heard it, I thought it was a cover of a Slade song, or Sweet, or any other 70’s British rock band. To the best of my knowledge, this is an original 2012 song.
The You Ruined a Guilty Pleasure Award – “Give Your Heart a Break” by Demi Lovato. I want to like this song because I am a sucker for torch songs. And a want to give Demi a break; she had a rough year as well. But she was the wrong person to sing this song. Not only is she too young, but she WARBLES through it! She’s no Brenda Lee.
The ‘Bjork, Bjork, Bjork’ Award for Best band from Iceland – “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men. I think that when I look back at 2012, this will be the song that I think about the most. I also like their second hit, “Mountain Sound.” It might even be a better song than “Little Talks.” Speaking of which….
The Failed Follow-Up is actually better than the Breakthrough Hit Award – “Eyes Wide Open” by Gotye. Yes, I had “Somebody that I Used to Know” as a SotM at the beginning of the year, but that was before the song blew up and became the song of 2012. Maybe it’s the overexposure, but I like “Eyes Wide Open” more.
The Somebody Must’ve Auto-Tuned my GPS Award – “Brokenhearted” by Karmin. The first time I heard this, my reaction was, “Why did they record a drunken karaoke song by a wasted Selena Gomez and Nicki Minaj?” Maybe Amy Heidemann works for Garmin.
The Most Questionable Marketing Decision Award – “Take a Walk” by Passion Pit. I don’t blame PP; I blame Taco Bell. I almost made this song one of my SotM, but the subject matter was too depressing and hit too close to home. So what is Taco Bell’s message, “If the recession has left you with only a $2 dinner budget, why not have a Doritos Loco Taco?” Seriously, did Taco Bell even listen to the lyrics?
Songs that should be played around Halloween – “Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)” and “The Pit” by Silversun Pickups. Based on the singles that they released, it looks to me that they are trying to corner the “creepy vibe/evil carnival vibe” niche market. That their sound isn’t dark and heavy, and thus receives mainstream airplay, makes them that much more sinister.
The ‘You know that 75% of your fanbase have no idea what you’re talking about’ Award – “Payphone” by Maroon 5. I suppose the lyrics were written years ago when payphone were prevalent and working. The song is so mediocre that it is plausible that it would be sitting on the shelf for years before Adam and the other four Marooners decided that they needed it to fill out the rest of the album. Probably not, but that’s the story I would go with.
Best Argument for the West Coast Award – “The Only Place” by Best Coast. If I was working for the California Dept. of Tourism, I would ditch the B-list celebrities, and use this song in their advertisements.
The ‘This is how you do a sci-fi video’ Award – “Reunion” by M83. Apparently, the “kids with superpowers” sub-genre is big in Europe this year. I’m looking at you, Sia and Daft Punk. I hope that you watch and listen to M83’s “Midnight City” and Reunion” and take notes. And please don’t get back to us until you do.
The Rasta Jew Award – “Sunshine” by Matisyahu. Not since the late, great Joe Strummer of The Clash has a white man been able to sing reggae without sounding foolish. Maybe the Jewish community should allow their 13 year-olds to sing Matisyahu songs for their Bar/Bat Mitzvahs in order to attract new converts.
The WTF Award for Trippiest Song – “Fitzpleasure” by Alt-J. Between the way the song was put together, and the nasally, Adam Sandler-esque style vocals, this song is either really profound or really irreverent. Apparently, it is the former, since many of their lyrics are movie references.
The Best Techno Song Ruined by a Korean Comedian Award – “Gangnam Style” by Psy. I know that me criticizing Psy is like a South Korean criticizing a “Weird Al” Yankovic song. I know what the song is about in context of South Korean culture. Yet, if you take away the verses of Psy’s rapping, (easy for me since I don’t understand a word of Korean), and just leave the chorus with the gratuitous English, you end up with a song that you could have heard being played in the clubs during the late 1990’s/early 2000’s.
The Most profound Lyrics Award – “Kill Your Heroes” by AWOLNATION. No, not the song’s title, but the line, “Never let your fear decide your fate.” Perhaps trite, I admit, but what can I say? The year 2012 was not a very profound year for pop music.

The Top Ten Honorable Mentions – Songs that were almost my Songs of the Moment (in no particular order): “Fire Escape” by Civil Twilight; “Happy Pills” by Norah Jones; “Strange Attractor” by Animal Kingdom; “Victoria” by Eve 6; “Lights” by Ellie Goulding; “Anna Sun” by Walk the Moon; “We Come Running” by Youngblood Hawke; “The House that Heaven Built” by Japandroids; “Someone Anyone” by Anberlin; “Gloom and Doom” by The Rolling Stones.


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