10 Songs To Take You Back 10 Years As Music Hit Its Peak In 2012

Friends, Zoomers, compatriots. Lend me your ears.

It’s 2022. We kids of the 2000s have been in the game for a little while now, and that means we’ve accumulated some wisdom. To taste. Cultural acuity and artistic sensitivity. Like all generations, we are approaching a moment of unprecedented clarity in our lives. As the bildungsromanThe last pages turn, we tap on the universal lesson, offered by our ancestors:

Music was better in the good old days.

Specifically the good old days when we were young, impressionable teenagers. Before, the music was bad. Since then, it’s just not been the same. It is clearly true. No, I will not respond to objections at this time. You read the title. You kept reading. Looking for bops from 2012. Let’s continue with the list.

1. “Call Me Maybe” – Carly Rae Jepsen

Listen, there was no other place to start. Carly Rae Jepsen’s pop hit was unmissable. There were flash mobs, tacky retrospective parodies and viral lip-syncing videos by everyone from Bieber to Cookie Monster to the United States Marine Corps. The virality of the Internet is still being felt weird (and less manufactured) at the time, so most reacted by shrugging their shoulders and jumping on the trend. And that’s without even mentioning the song itself. Let me tell you, this bubblegum pop goes hard.

2. “Someone I Used To Know” – Gotye, feat. Kimbra

When you hear that xylophone clap, you know something special is about to play. Gotye really dropped the Billboard Hot 100 number one single, won three Grammys and followed it up with a “buh-bye.” He didn’t quit music, of course, but he retired the stage name Gotye to pursue other interests, namely his own label and band, The Basics. The guy never even turned on the ads on his music video. You know, the one with 1.8 billion views. Obviously, he is the GOAT (you).

3. “We are young” – fun., feat. Janelle Monae

Before Jack Antonoff left to rock our worlds co-writing with all the pop girls in the book, he was just one-third of the indie rock band we all still wish we had. Consider the following: “We Are Young” boasts one of the most catchy and straightforward drumlines in 21st-chttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JR0F6wrvIQentury pop to date. Paired with the brilliant vocals of Nate Ruess and Janelle Monáe, and an equally colorful piano, it’s no wonder the band’s single still holds up a decade later. The song is like a lover waiting for you, right in front of the bar.

4. “Royals” – Lorde

The glitzy, glamorous club music of the 2000s was becoming overtaken by the 2010s, and audiences were craving a different kind of buzz. Enter the Kiwi Queen: Lorde. (I’m cheating a bit because the single didn’t chart until 2013, but really, how could I not?) Its clean instrumentation and leisurely rhythm were perhaps rare on the charts at the time. , but the song’s DNA is all about modern alt-pop. Additionally, the track was technically featured on his indie debut. The Love Club EP (2012), so I’m going to claim it for 2012 on a technical point.

5. “maAd city” – Kendrick Lamar, feat. MC Eight

Truly, all of Kendrick Lamar’s major label debut deserves to be here. Good kid, maAd city (2012) is a complex retelling of Lamar’s youth in Compton, but the record’s title track takes that concept and layers it with an absolutely unforgettable two-part instrumental from Sounwave and Terrace Martin. The solo after Lamar’s final verse is one of the best musical moments of the year, and in a year as busy as 2012, that’s saying something.

6. “Daylight” – Brown 5

Yes, Maroon 5. Perhaps the farthest possible point from the previous entry. I know, Adam Levine is kind of a walking bread. But listen to me. Back when my parents bought music for 99 cents from the iTunes Store, when I had no personal preference and was content with whatever our shared iPod library offered, this was just up the ante the library. Is this the best song? No. Was “Payphone” or “One More Night” better? Arguably. What I mean, though, is that sometimes it’s the mediocre stuff – the songs you forgot you knew – that really bring you back.

7. “We found love” – ​​Rihanna, feat. calvin harris

I know I said Lorde brought 2010s pop into its darkest phase, but the industry wasn’t there yet. My proof: this absolute banger. It was one of many Calvin Harris chart climbers of the year (see “Feel So Close,” “Sweet Nothing” and “I Need Your Love” for outbursts of nostalgia), but Rihanna’s vocal performance elevates this track above the rest featured on Harris’ album 18 months (2012). She cuts through sirens and synth beats with ease. The title is cacophonous, but in the best way. And yes, it was technically the end of 2011; I play fast and freely with the rules. Time didn’t exist when we were kids, so let me have fun.

8. “Don’t You Worry Child” – Swedish House Mafia, feat. John Martin

Don’t worry, Calvin Harris isn’t the only house music on this list. The amplified but restrained style of this Swedish supergroup harmonizes well with the melancholy delivery of John Martin. The whole song is like a fading memory, if this memory was backed by an implacably saturated synth rhythm. If you’re feeling extra, try doing the nearly seven-minute pre-radio edit; or, better yet, listen to their new album 2022 lost paradise, as the band apparently reunited just in time for the single’s 10th anniversary. It proves that even these stars are trying to relive the glory days of 2012.

9. “Everybody’s Talking” – Neon Trees




10. “Gangnam Style” (강남스타일) – PSY

We started with a viral sensation, and we’ll end with one too. PSY was by no means the first K-pop crossover in America, but it was certainly the biggest for its time. It was so big, in fact, that it forced Billboard to catch up and start incorporating YouTube metrics into its rankings: “Gangnam Style” was the site’s first video to rack up 1 billion views. It’s goofy, undeniably catchy, and perfect for parody.

And yes, I know you tried dancing. I did too. We have all done it.

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About Eileen W. Sudduth

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