Music was good in 2012. I’m going to choose to ignore all the garbage that came out of the mainstream pop scene, and, instead, focus in on the good music. Because there was a lot of it. New albums from a bunch of bands, including Silversun Pickups, Stone Sour, and Coheed and Cambria all carried great songs. And those are only a few of 2012’s great albums. If you disagree, or agree, with my top 10 songs, let me know in the comments! And of you disagree, let me know what your favorites were.
10. Take a Walk – Passion Pit
Despite the rest of the album being mediocre at best, the lead single off of Passion Pit’s second album is a great song. It’s got an awesome beat to it, and it really showcases the potential that Passion Pit has. Talk a Walk proves that they do have potential to be a major player on the alternative rock scene. The use of instruments on this song is awesome, and works to create a great mood. The message of the song is also good, and it could be interpreted as a feel good song of sorts. It’s sad that nothing else on the album was of this caliber.
9. Freak Like Me – Halestorm
On: The Strange Case Of…
I really didn’t know many Halestorm songs until I saw them at Summerfest. But when I saw them, I loved them almost immediately. And almost right after that awesome concert, I got both of their albums. And now, five months later, the one that has held up the best is Freak Like Me. It’s a song about how it’s Ok to be different, and there’s nothing wrong with being different. The message of the song is awesome, and it’s one that I feel I can connect with. But it’s not just the lyrics and the message that I love about the song. The aggressive guitar riffs and drum lines, as well as vocal style, create an awesome mood for an awesome song.
8. Oh Love – Green Day
Both Uno and Dos have been slightly odd albums for Green Day. They have offered up some not so great tracks, but some really awesome ones as well. Oh Love is one of the better songs, and it is really awesome. While Green Day still maintains their distinct punk rock style on this song, especially music wise, it’s a side of Green Day we haven’t seen in a while. Both American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown were much more serious, and Oh Love is a lot more light hearted. And that makes the song so good, is the fact that, while it is certainly light hearted, the song manages to still be musically complex and the writing remains stellar.
7. Expectations – Three Days Grace
On: Transit of Venus
Despite Transit of Venus not being their best album, Three Days Grace has crafted one of their best songs with Expectations. The loud, aggressive guitar intro hooks you from the start. Expectations is one of the shortest songs on the album, but it’s short and awesome. Adam Gontier’s vocal style is incredible on this song, especially in the verses. The message of the song, which is that not everything turns out exactly as you want it to, a message conveyed by Adam Gontier yelling out “Expectations! Go to hell!” in the chorus. Awesome in almost every way.
6. Decay – Tremonti
On: All I Was
Mark Tremonti’s solo debut this year held some of the year’s best hard rock. For me, though, the standout track on the album didn’t come until it’s brutal closer, Decay. Decay best showcases Mark Tremonti’s excellent guitar skills. The fast pace of the song only serves to prove his skill at guitar, and, as a result, the music is excellent throughout the entire album. Tremonti’s vocal work is also stellar throughout the entire album, but I really love his vocals on Decay, probably more than other songs on the album. It’s no surprise that he’s good on his own, but I never expected him to be this good. And yet he is.
5. Dead Bite – Hollywood Undead
On: Sounds of the Underground
The album isn’t out yet, but I’m already extremely psyched for it as a result of this one song. Based on this song, it seems that Hollywood Undead is, at least to an extent, leaving behind the more mainstream style of American Tragedy in favor of the more rock-like style of some of their earlier work. As a result, the music just sounds a lot better. The overpowering synths are gone, in favor of Charlie Scene’s excellent guitar work. As usual, the vocals are awesome, and despite the serious tone of the song, Charlie Scene still manages to be ridiculously funny, while J3T and J-Dog keep the serious mood intact. And this song easily has some of Danny’s best vocal work yet.
4. Dirty Paws – Of Monsters and Men
On: My Head is an Animal
Many people will tell you that Little Talks is better. Don’t believe them. While it’s certainly a stellar song (like everything else on this album), Dirty Paws is better. The excellent musical style is present on this song, and is probably some of the best on the album. The guitars and percussion are especially well used in this song, and the vocals are great as well. But it’s mot the great music that makes Dirty Paws so good. Of Monsters and Men’s excellent songwriting is what makes it such a great song. The message is one of anti-war, and the band portrays that message through the use of a story about a war between birds and bees. The story is great, and I love the way the message is conveyed.
3. Gone Sovereign/Absolute Zero – Stone Sour
On: House of Gold and Bones Part 1
Gone Sovereign/Absolute Zero, the lead single and first song on Stone Sour’s best album yet, House of Gold and Bones, is one of the best songs of this year. It sounds more akin to frontman Corey Taylor’s main project, Slipknot, meaning that it’s heavy and has excellent song writing. Corey Taylor’s vocals are the best on this song since his Slipknot days, and may even eclipse some of his work with Slipknot. The song has an extremely aggressive feel to it, one that is added to by the raging guitars and drums. Not only is the music awesome, the lyrics are as well.
2. The Pit – Silversun Pickups
On: Neck of the Woods
Silversun Pickups are probably the best band to have come out of the ever expanding alternative rock scene, and is song, the second single of their third album, Neck of the Woods, is one of the best songs I’ve heard all year. The music is the best part of this song, with a great bassline as well some awesome guitar and percussion parts. Furthermore, the vocals are simply stellar, and the mood of the song is awesome. All the way from the soft bass line, through the catchy chorus and all the way to the bass solo at the end, the song is awesome.
1. Key Entity Extraction III Vic the Butcher – Coheed & Cambria
On: The Afterman: Ascension
I’ve always admired Claudio Sanchez. Especially his song writing talent. Throughout Ascension, he writes songs that have a place in the story of the concept album, but also have real life applications, the fact that he can accomplish that is awesome. I especially love the line “Hang your secrets, hang em up, hang em up now!” And then there’s his vocal talents. His voice has grown steadily deeper over the course of Coheed & Cambria’s existence, and now he has built up quite a range, which he uses extremely well in this song. And then there’s the music. Everything about the actual music is awesome, it’s aggressive, loud, and just plain awesome. Just like the rest of the song.