Shannan Singletary ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
This year has been a big year for music, which just made picking the top 10 albums and singles of 2012 a nearly impossible one. There were so many albums and songs that deserved to be on this list but I tried to narrow it down by picking music I’ve heard a lot of people listening to and talking about this year.
Top 10 Albums
fun. – Some Nights
With a classic pop sound reminiscent to that of Queen, fun.’s sophomore album has had two hit singles and introduced the band to mainstream music listeners.
Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE
The debut studio album for R&B singer Frank Ocean, channel ORANGE has received numerous accolades including debuting at No. 2 on the US Billboard 200 chart and a 2013 Grammy nomination for “Album of the Year.”
Mumford and Sons – Babel
Babel was one of the most highly anticipated albums of 2012. It sold about 600,000 copies in its first week of sales in the US and became the fastest selling album of 2012 in the UK.
Taylor Swift – Red
Taylor Swift broke records this year when Red sold more 1.208 million copies in the US during its first week, making her the first female artist in history to sell more than a million copies in first week sales twice. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and has continued to hold that spot as the year nears its end.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist
This debut studio album from the rapper-producer duo reached No. 1 on iTunes within hours of being released.
Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d. city
Good kid, m.A.A.d city is Kendrick Lamar’s second studio album and his major label debut. The album generated more than 2.8 million streams through Spotify in its first week and earned the highest hip-hop album sales of 2012 for a male artist.
Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory
Attack on Memory is Cloud Nothings’s first album to include Dylan Baldi’s live band as full-time members. The album features much heavier music than the band’s previous releases which had a more notable pop sound.
The Lumineers – The Lumineers
This is the debut studio album for this folk-rock group. The album’s songs mixes the groups folk sound with a bit of a pop feel that makes it hard not to enjoy.
Jack White – Blunderbuss
Blunderbuss is the debut solo album from The White Stripes frontman Jack White. The album was written, recorded and produced entirely by White. It’s received high regards including a nomination for Album of the Year at the 2013 Grammys.
Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do
This is Fiona Apple’s first album since 2005 and it’s obvious that her time off has done her nothing but good. The album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart and has been nominated for Best Alternative Music Album for the 2013 Grammys.
Top 10 Singles
“Ho Hey” – The Lumineers
This song’s mixture of folk and idie-pop brought a much needed simplicity to the world of pop music when it hit airwaves.
“Die Young” – Ke$ha
Though there are many critics of Ke$ha’s ability as singer, “Die Young” gained popularity this year as a sort of teenage anthem.
“Some Nights” – fun.
fun.’s title track off of their album Some Nights was just as big of a hit in 2012 as the band’s first single off of their album.
“I Knew You Were Trouble” – Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift turned heads this year with the release of the very pop sounding “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” but it’s been her dubstep sounding tune “I Knew You Were Trouble” that has quickly become one of the most popular songs of 2012.
“Home” – Phillip Phillips
“Home” was given to Phillip Phillips as his first single as the winner of this year’s season of American Idol. After its release the day after the song had the biggest week of digital sales of any past Idol winner’s coronation songs.
“Somebody that I Used to Know” – Goyte
Earlier this year it was nearly impossible to turn on the radio and not hear “Somebody That I Used To Know,” and no matter how tired you got of hearing it you couldn’t help but sing along.
“Call Me Maybe” – Carly Rae Jepson
Carly Rae Jepson’s debut hit gained popularity after a YouTube featuring several teen celebrities including Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez lip-syncing and dancing to the song went viral. The extremely catchy song then sparked hundreds of other videos making it a pop culture hit.
“We Are Young” – fun. Featuring Janelle Monáe
Though this debut single from their sophomore album Some Nights was released in September of 2011, it continued to dominate radio airwaves for the first half of 2012.
“Payphone” – Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Kahlifa
Though it’d be a difficult task to actually find a working payphone in 2012, Maroon 5 brought them back this year (well, in spirit at least).
“Gangnam Style” – Psy
Korean singer Psy had everyone dancing this year with “Gangnam Style.” The k-pop hit gained worldwide success with its music video featuring its funny looking dance that’s nearly impossible to resist doing.