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411 Music Buy or Sell 01.04.13: The Biggest Songs of 2012

January 4, 2013 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

Greetings and salutations, Music Zone readers! Welcome to your top choice in music single opinion columns, 411 Music Buy or Sell! I’m your host Jeremy Thomas, and each week we’ll look at some of the hottest new and hit singles and a couple of our esteemed writers will decide if they want to keep the song (Buy) or drop it like it’s hot (Sell). This week we’re changing things up and instead looking at some of the biggest hits of 2012. Our s listeners are the master of the Low End Theory hip-hop news report, Tony Acero, taking on the yours truly Jeremy Thomas!

All right, enough of the introductions and rules…let’s hop to it!

1) Gotye (ft. Kimbra) – “Somebody That I Used To Know”
From Making Mirrors (Samples ‘n’ Seconds/Universal Music)
Released January 20, 2012
Tony Acero: BUY.

This song took over the world. There were reports about just why it was so popular, and numerous “parody” versions of it, which are obvious signs of extreme popularity, right? In listening to it again after not hearing it for a few weeks, I could say that it’s still every bit as infectious as it was when it first came out. Both Gotye and Kimbra sound different enough, and have a nice little story going here, and if you haven’t heard it (come on, who hasn’t heard it), then you’re missing out on one of those “2012 moments” that won’t die. Ever.

Jeremy Thomas: BUY.

I dug the hell out of this song for its time on top of the music charts, and still enjoy it now. Gotye gave us something very different than what anyone else was offering on the airwaves, and in a good way. It’s a subdued, moody number that is almost striking in how much it contrasted with the likes of Katy Perry and Flo Rida, and that’s what helped make it a success. The other part was the fact that it is just a really great pop song. Gotye creates a catchy song without needing to resort of big pop hooks and that made for a great song and huge success.


2) Maroon 5 – “One More Night”
From Overexposed (A&M/Octone)
Released June 19, 2012
Tony Acero: SELL.

I find Adam Levine’s crooning something that I can give or take. I recall really enjoying the first album, but not much after that. His most recent addition to an Eminem song was one of those take or leave things, so it didn’t matter too much. There are writers that would have you believe Mr. Levine is a bane to the music industry. I don’t see that, but this song doesn’t strike me as anything worthy of my ear. I don’t even remember hearing this before tonight. Have I? Hm.

Jeremy Thomas: BUY.

I was not particularly kind to Overexposed when it was released earlier this year, but I did give some props to this song. The hints of reggae in the high-concept pop hooks made it stand out from the rest of the album in a good way. I understand the disdain for Adam Levine, but I don’t mind his voice at all. It’s not the best voice in music or anything, but it is solid. I wish Maroon 5 would get back toward rock and away from the generic pop, but if they’re not going to I would rather they do stuff like this as opposed to most of the rest of the album.


3) Drake (ft. Rihanna) – “Take Care”
From Take Care (Young Money/Cash Money/Universal Republic)
Released April 10, 2012
Tony Acero: SELL.

Oh Drake, the man who sold himself as a rapper and put out an R&B album. This track was one that I didn’t dislike, exactly. It had a nice duet feel to it, but it was also a sign of the album that was to come. I really wish I would have read the signs. It’s far too slow for my liking, and a bit too self-loathing. Definite Sell for me.

Jeremy Thomas: SELL.

Drake is someone who I just can’t get into at all. He was a decent rapper but his decision to blend into the R&B spectrum is puzzling to say the least and it didn’t give me any reason to want to listen to him. There is nothing wrong with R&B mind you, but all popular R&B artists seem to go in a cookie cutter mold that Drake is following. This was an okay song I suppose, but there’s nothing special about it at all and I literally couldn’t remember it when I was collecting these songs. That shouldn’t be the case for one of the biggest songs of the year.


4) Linkin Park – “Burn It Down”
From Living Things (Warner Bros.)
Released April 16, 2012
Tony Acero: BUY.

This is barely a BUY because it sounds very Linkin Park, which is to say it sounds like a copy of a copy. Still, I can’t help but like the song. Linkin Park sometimes has that issue where they sound the same in numerous songs, and this is one of those tracks where you just know it’s LP. Even with that, I can’t help but let it play when Pandora decides to drop it on my playlist, or iTunes shuffles over to them.

Jeremy Thomas: BUY.

I actually like Linkin Park. Are they a great band? Not at all, but I’ve always liked what they’ve brought to the table with the exception of A Thousand Suns. This was a return to form for the band after that gross misstep of an album. Bennington does his singing, Shinoda does his rapping, the track mixes electronica sounds and rock and you have a Linkin Park hit. You don’t need to be a hugely artistic and unique effort to be pleasing on the ears, and these guys prove it.


5) Carly Rae Jepsen – “Call Me Maybe”
From Kiss (604/Schoolboy/Interscope)
Released February 22, 2012
Tony Acero: SELL.

I will NOT sit here and lambast this pop fodder simply because it’s the thing to do. This song set out on a mission, and it succeeded in spades. Although we hard asses may claim that this thing isn’t our cup of tea, I challenge any one of you to NOT know at least the chorus. No? Just me? Well, regardless of that fact, I wouldn’t buy it, but I do want to stress that it was a big deal in 2012.

Jeremy Thomas: SELL.

I’m not just hating this because it’s popular. I actually gave it a SELL back in April for Buy or Sell before it became a worldwide phenomenon. Here’s what I wrote then: “I was kind of into this until the chorus, and then it lost me. It’s a decent arrangement in the verses; a bit generic, to be sure, but amicably listenable. Then it changes gears and gets more staccato with the chorus and I’m done. Jepsen has a decent-enough voice–when Auto-Tuned, anyway–but there isn’t enough of a sense of connection with the listener to make this worth more than a single listen. That’s all I gave it and I won’t be checking it out again.” So there you have it.


6) Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T, 2 Chainz – “Mercy”
From Cruel Summer (GOOD Music/Def Jam)
Released April 3, 2012
Tony Acero: BUY.

Buy over and over, yo! This song kicked so much ass and was a staple of many a party nights for myself and co. It was released in April, and still bumps. The song was part of a compilation album that was very strong, and doesn’t get enough love simply because there were attempts at being similar to Watch the Throne instead of its own album. This song tho…magic.

Jeremy Thomas: BUY.

Is this as good as, say, “No Church in the Wild” or “Runaway?” No, no it isn’t. But that doesn’t at all mean that this is a bad song. Quite to the contrary, I really dug this. The rhymes are all really good, they’re connected via typically excellent production by Kanye and put together in one memorable and enjoyable rap track. That’s all I ask.


So looking back at 2012’s biggest hits, we’re selling Drake and Carly Rae while Buying Linkin Park, Gotye and Kanye and company! Thanks to Tony for his participation this week; that will do it us! What do you think of the singles we covered? Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!


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