One of the catchiest pop songs in recent memory leads off the best of 2012. Pop-dance music and a touch of alternative style populate the list.
"I threw a wish in the well..." That's how one of the catchiest pop hits of all time begins. 26 year old Canadian singer-songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen has blasted into the world pop spotlight with this song. It first hit #1 in Canada, and, with a little help from friends, it took off in the US as an inevitable #1 hit. Josh Ramsay, of the pop-rock band Marianas Trench, also deserves accolades for a picture perfect production. "Call Me Maybe" will be remembered with smiles for years to come.
"We Are Young" can still raise chills in listeners when the towering chorus kicks in. This massive alternative radio hit had a memorable journey into the pop mainstream. It was featured on Glee which brought the song into the Billboard Hot 100. Then its use as the soundtrack for a car having fun in a Super Bowl commercial blasted "We Are Young" to the top of iTunes sales, and pop radio finally took notice. The elegant singalong chorus disguises the depth of meaning contained in what is much more than a simple pop song.
Katy Perry has delivered one of her most elegant and mature singles yet. Written in just two days, and then recorded over another two day period, "Wide Awake" captures the essence of Katy Perry as a pop star and is the perfect theme for her feature film documentary Katy Perry: Part Of Me. If you need a boost as you are recovering from the down times of life, Katy Perry is there with you...once again.
It took a band playing the song in a novelty version on one guitar to break the song in the US, but the sheer power of the song seems to indicate Gotye would have ultimately made it anyway. This is a breakup song for the ages. Most listeners never forgot this song after hearing it for the first time.
The title references the work of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, and it is one of Kelly Clarkson's top accomplishments. This is a song that finally holds its own against her massive hit "Since U Been Gone." In Kelly Clarkson's capable hands, the empowerment anthem matures and becomes very very catchy.
The movie Men In Black 3 didn't do well, but this theme song is one of the most uniue surprises of the year. Built around samples from the 1950s Mickey and Sylvia hit "Love Is Strange," there is nothing else that sounds like this song this year. Add in Pitbull's familiar charm, and this is one of the most memorable party songs of the year.
It has taken a long long time on the charts to reach the pop top 10, but Ellie Goulding's unique blend of dance music and folkie vocal styling has found fans among US pop listeners. Her next album will be eagerly awaited. Perhaps this is just the beginning for a new pop star.
After a string of major pop hits at home in the UK, dance music producer and artist Calvin Harris crossed the Atlantic producing Rihanna's huge hit "We Found Love." It didn't take long for him to follow it with his own solo work. It is not a major artistic vocal achievement, but Calvin Harris' own voice inhabits one of the most charming and memorable pop vocals of the year so far. Once again Calvin Harris proves that simple and elegant can be quite beautiful indeed.
One Direction proves that boy bands still have a deserved place in the overall pop music picture. "What Makes You Beautiful" is just as appealing to a wide range of adult pop fans as it is to their tween core audience. If they continue with songs this strong, former X Factor UK contestants One Direction will be around for a long time to come.