Sunday, December 30, 2012

The 2012-50: No.30 - No.21

30.  "Somebody That I Used To Know" - Gotye featuring Kimbra.

Yet another of those 'technicalities', a song by an Aussie of Belgian origin, originally released in 2011 and hitting everywhere first and the UK last, so I'm including it here as it finally rolled into the UK top 30 singles chart in January and became a fixture on radio playlists for a big chunk of the year.  Quirky, original and different: after all, how many songs take their musical inspiration from Baa Baa Black Sheep?  (Don't answer that!).

29.  "You And I" - Minnie-Oh.

A terrific electro-pop number from this year's Norsk Melodi Grand Prix.  Maybe not the best ever vocal performance, but who could not love Minnie and her customised spiky puffa jacket?  This song was both ice-cool and delightfully warm at the same time, and completely likeable. Hurry up with some more musical greatness Minnie!

28.  "Sur Le Fil" - Jenifer.

The original Star Academy winner made her comeback just in time for our short break in France in September, where this got enough video music channel/radio airplay to completely eat its way into my brain and stay there for a long time.  Warning: video contains numerous costume changes.  And a plate of macarons. :))

27.  "Time" - Izabo.

So, what happened here then?  My favourite Israeli ESC entry in many a year, and it didn't get to the final.  Oh what the hell, I have rediscovered the song all over again whilst preparing my annual chart.  I don't really like this video but I still like the song though.

26. "Love Me" - Stooshe featuring Travie McCoy. 

Bloody ‘ell, Travie McCoy again. Unfortunately he crops up like a bad penny in what feels like every annual chart, ‘featuring’ on songs which otherwise floated my boat. Stooshe cemented their arrival in the UK and Europe with the retro-flavoured and rather good Black Heart, which narrowly missed out on my chart purely for reasons that everyone’s familiar with it, whereas this merits inclusion as it was their lesser known first hit and it managed to bring some cartoonish genuine fun to an otherwise generic, erm, genre.

25. "Gangnam Style" - Psy.

A little-known and somewhat obscure song which you probably have never heard of.  JUST KIDDING!!! You are probably all sick of it by now, the dance routines, the numerous parodies etc etc.  It doesn't have any great musical merit, but I'm not ashamed to say that I like "Gangnam Style" because it has brought some much-needed fun to some otherwise dark times.  And as one-hit wonders go, this'll probably be the biggest of them all: a billion views on YouTube and counting.  Oppan Gangnam Style!

24.  "My Own Worst Enemy" - Robert Pettersson featuring Helena Josefsson.

Fittingly for the theme song to what sounds like a Swedish equivalent of a James Bond-style film, this has all the drama of a Bond theme.  Give me this tune over that "Skyfall" snooze-fest anyday!  Robert is one of the best vocalists in Sweden right now, and his voice blends very well with Helena's.  For me this was one of the most underrated songs of the year.

23.  "The Boy Can Dance" - Afro-Dite.

10 years after they won Melodifestivalen with the disco-tastic "Never Let It Go" - one of my favourite MF winners ever, by the way - the ladies were shakin' shakin' their way back into the schlager consciousness with this catchy number.  However they didn't get to shake it all the way to Globen, missing out on qualification from a heat which included eventual winner Loreen.

22. "Stattu Upp" - Blar Opal.
Now here is an example of a song which, if I'm honest, annoyed me when it was in Songvakeppni (and I was too busy cheering on my boys Magni and Jonsi at the time) but it went on to become a favourite of mine over subsequent months.  It's basically Taio Cruz's "Dynamite" re-imagined by what appears to be a reassuringly amateurish boyband who eventually win you over with bags of enthusiasm. 

21. "Kuula" - Ott Lepland.
Ott was a stand-out at this year's Eurovision Song Contest in more ways than one (oo-er missus!!) but let's get our minds out of the gutter for a moment and focus on the music, shall we?  A beautiful ballad, brilliantly sung, and best of all, it sounded so lovely and lyrical in its native language, Estonian.  The song's reasonable success in the grand final proved that you don't need any of that translation-into-English rubbish for greatness to shine through.

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