Canadian Press music writer Nick Patch has rounded up his favourite choices for the best songs as well as albums of the year, and (drumroll please…) the list goes like this:
– Usher "Climax"
One of the kings of R&B, Usher made the cut with this Diplo-produced track that was one of the fave pop songs of '12.
– Grimes "Oblivion"
Born in Vancouver but based in Montreal, Grimes, led by Claire Boucher, hit the mainstream with her "Oblivion" tune this year.
– The Shins "Simple Song"
James Mercer's first album since '07 "Port of Morrow" included this song, much to the delight of fans everywhere.
– Future "Turn On The Lights"
Rap became more pop-infused with "Turn On The Lights" from the debut album of this Atlanta-based MC.
– Chairlift "I Belong In Your Arms"
Singer/songwriter Caroline Polachek's ballad lured in a myriad of slow-song lovers, as Patch felt like this belonged on the list as well.
– Kendrick Lamar "Good Kid m.A.A.d. City"
Patch writes: "Lamar accomplishes what stymies so many other well-intentioned conscious rappers who wind up sounding preachy: he observes, he documents, but he never claims to do so from a distance" of this 2012 album.
– Miguel "Kaleidoscope Dream"
This L.A. singer hit radars in 2010 with his first album, and this year, Miguel's "lithe vocal gymnastics and risque sexual provocations recall a lofty lineage including R. Kelly, Prince and Marvin Gaye (particularly on the bubble-buoyant stunner 'Adorn')."
– Frank Ocean "Channel Orange"
Patch of Ocean's latest effort: "Like his adopted home of L.A., 'Channel Orange' unfurls in an endless, sun-dappled sprawl, overwhelming but packed with possibility."
– Tame Impala "Lonerism"
Impala's second album release, this quartet from Australia's "alien nature of 'Lonerism' is part of what makes it so thrillingly special."
– Japandroids "Celebration Rock"
Following up their premiere album "Post-Nothing," this second effort shows that "there's certainly evidence of growth here in the tighter production, performances more tousled than messy and more rewarding songwriting, headlined by the rousing 'The House that Heaven Built.'"