Pop: Best (& Worst) of 2012

Music. The magic that gets us on the inside, for the young and the old, something we dance to, sing our hearts out to, occasionally steal a listen everyday in our busy routines, even weep to, and so much more. Music is, essentially, emotion. Anyways, this isn’t another boring lecture about music and I’m hardly the right person to give that kind of talk anyway since Ben (Editor in Chief) labels me a true “hipster”, something most hipsters wouldn’t want to be identified with. Am I calling myself the H-word? Whatever; this is, to me, the good, the bad and the worst of pop in this year of change, 2012.

So… where do I start, 2012 has been a crazy year. December already? Wasn’t the 2000’s like a few days ago. This year saw a big rise in Adele fan-dom, she even grabbed a few Grammys while she was at it, all “Set Fire To the Rain”, “Skyfall” and such. David Guetta won big this year as well, with his many collaborations with artists such as Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Sia and many more. Seriously, there has to be one Guetta song that managed to make its way into your head thanks to the local radio, be it “Turn Me On” or “Titanium” (am I right or am I right?).

Oh, and did you know Justin Bieber & Carly Rae Jepsen are both Canadian by nationality? I really like Rita Ora, I mean, “How We Do (Party)” is definitely a party jam for me. Come on, she’s a babe (look up). Next up, we had our fair share of Alex Clares, Tygas & Zedds… I’m not a big fan of pop but I <3 “Too Close” by Alex Clare, it’s a sort of step that is not dubstep? Who knows anymore?

Calvin Harris has definitely been in-season, all season, with his electro-pop, house-whatever. Tracks like “Let Go” feat. Ne-Yo, and the radio classic “Feel So Close”. My Nigerian ex-room mate used to love that song.. I swear, I can’t even…….

Chris Brown! I’d like to say I don’t mind his songs too much, him singing about not waking him up and turning up the music, very original, to say the least. Next, Demi Lovato on giving your heart a break. What the radio peeps don’t get is it’s not my heart that needs a break, it’s my eardrums! Seriously, guys, come on! Oh and Ellie Goulding, her serene ways and “Lights”. That song has been over-played, raped even, on radio yet that lass has talent, great voice, and I find her cute in an odd way. Am I the only one?

This year we also had Flo Rida releasing songs on how to blow a whistle (“Whistle”, mmm hmmm.. were you thinking what I was thinking?) and “Wild Ones”, which are frequent party-starters if you’ve ever hit Changkat in Bukit Bintang. Far East Movement did a song with Bieber this year, and how can we forget Fun.? You’ve probably heard “Some Nights” or the more ‘epic’ “We Are Young” featuring Janelle Monae (her song “Tightrope” was included in the credits of Happy Feet 2 , if that is even somehow related).

In terms of popular songs this year, Gotye’s one about ‘somebody that he used to know’ is a clear favorite, with vocals by Kimbra, a New-Zealand singer-songwriter, essentially, another babe. Even my 7 year-old sister digs it. I do enjoy my Taylor Swift now and then, but “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is just too poppy for it’s own good. Gym Class Heroes did a song with Neon Hitch, “Ass Back Home”, something I can only remember the chorus of (pop, yeah?).  Jessie J’s “Domino” is definitely one of my favorites from this year, and fine… Bieber’s “Boyfriend” is mildly catchy in some, twisted way. JB also did “As Long As You Love Me” feat. Big Sean, which wasn’t too bad.

Karmin got really famous this year too, with the help of YouTube and weird hair. Whoop-dee-doo for her.  Ah, and I haven’t mentioned Katy Perry yet. Let me say for one, I really wanted to go for her concert in KL, when MTV World Stage was around, 2 years back. My mum’s first reaction was “What!?!?” when I let her know of my intentions. Katy P writes some good stuff.. I’m particularly a fan of Jacques Lu Cont’s Thin White Duke remix of “Part of Me”. How can I forget Katy mentioning Radiohead in “The One That Got Away” and also “Wide Awake”, not the best song to listen to when you are actually wide awake at some God-awful time. Mad respect to her.

2012, the year Ke$ha decided to release a song on dying young (“Die Young”) and LMFAO apologizing for party-rocking??? (“Sorry for Party Rocking”). Who party-rocks and has manners? LMFAO, that’s who. A mention over here for Maroon 5 as well, they gained massive popularity all over with hits like “One More Night” (guys, we never really want JUST one more night do we? 🙂 ) and “Payphone”, another chart-topper featuring Wiz Khalifa (that man is a genius).

This year we also witnessed the rise of One Direction, a boy-band composed of boys. I mean, we had ‘N Sync & Backstreet Boys back in the day but at least they were men trying to be boys. What a year. Owl City & Carly Rae on how it’s always a “Good Time”, Pitbull & Chris Brown on “International Love” and Rihanna going on about “Diamonds” and “Where Have You Been?”.

Other notable artists of the year, Swedish House Mafia forever with their electro-dance, Usher non-stop and The Wanted, yet another British boy-band. Does anyone remember “This is Love” by Will.I.AM feat. Eva Simons.? I kind of do. I can’t leave out PSY! Come on, you know you know it. I don’t know what’s up with his style but boy, one of THE songs of 2012, I’m sure.

Now, let me tell you what I wasn’t a fan of this phenomenal year. Wasn’t too big on Cher Lloyd, just another talent-show pretty face that can’t sing (S. Gomez anyone?). Don’t hate me for dishin’ out the hate, hate the game. Christina Aguilera is obviously past her previous best. I don’t know, just don’t feel it anymore. Not a big fan of Enrique Iglesias either, he sounds like he’s trying to fit in with the now too much. Flo Rida is alright, I guess, but Jennifer Lopez… doesn’t she know when to quit? I mean, let’s face it, she’s no Madonna. Karmin’s a little bit too over-rated for me and Kelly Clarkson, like Aguilera, wrote better stuff in the past? Just sayin’…

Nelly Furtado seems like she wants to revamp her image, no more flying like a bird and all that jazz. P!nk isn’t really THAT great, and last but not least, Nicki Minaj. Now what’s up with that? I mean, I’m not saying this off-hand, I have listened to her songs and I still wonder how she’s gotten so big.

I should say that Lana Del Rey deserves a honourable mention, I mean, not many like her nowadays. That sexy voice and luscious lips. Go Lana!

2012 has been weird, but a good kind of weird, I guess. Who am I kidding… This year has been amazing 🙂

What to look forward to in 2013? None other than more, riotous, accessible, good ol’ pop.

O        P        P         A         G        A         N          G           N         A          M         S       T        Y       L        E        !

Danish Zainal

"Zeal without knowledge is fire without light." - Thomas Fuller, 17th century historian


  • December 7, 2012

    Events Editor

    LOVE IT! Well done once more Danish! Where’s the love for Lana Del Rey thou? (def one of my favorites of 2012!) 🙂

  • December 7, 2012

    Music Editor

    Thanks for that. 🙂 small blip, pop is really general anyway.

  • December 17, 2012


    ” Who party-rocks and has manners? LMFAO, that’s who.”
    Hhahahaha that just made laugh out loud here in the tcr. Loved it!