The best pop singles of 2012


It was a great year for pop singles, with so many songs transcending niches and even traditional musical outlets to reach the widest audiences possible. Here's a look at the best. -- GLENN GAMBOA,

12. Alex Clare, "Up All Night" (Island): A

12. Alex Clare, "Up All Night" (Island): A rocking EDM rave-up built for chanting along and jumping up and down to celebrate your youth. It's way better than the Microsoft commercial song.

11. The Gaslight Anthem, "Here Comes My Man"
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11. The Gaslight Anthem, "Here Comes My Man" (Island Def Jam): Triumphant indie rock and the "oh-sha-la-la's" of a '60s girl group make for a grand mix.

10. Cloud Nothings,
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10. Cloud Nothings, "Stay Useless" (Carpark): The newcomers from Cleveland declare themselves with this bash-it-out indie-rocker that's as catchy as they come.


9. Zedd, featuring Matthew Koma,
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9. Zedd, featuring Matthew Koma, "Spectrum" (Interscope): The scope of Seaford native Koma's lyrics and delivery bring a new dimension to the EDM onslaught.

8. Kelly Hogan, "I Like To Keep Myself
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8. Kelly Hogan, "I Like To Keep Myself in Pain" (Anti-): A classic country weeper, with some remarkable wailing thrown in. Though it sounds like it could have come from the '50s, "Pain" was actually written for Hogan by the great Robyn Hitchcock.

7. Gotye featuring Kimbra, "Somebody That I Used
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7. Gotye featuring Kimbra, "Somebody That I Used to Know" (Republic): The saddest song that will still get everyone to sing along.

6. Leonard Cohen,
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6. Leonard Cohen, "Crazy to Love You" (Columbia): No one captures the ache of love like Leonard Cohen. The surprise here is how passionate the acoustic guitar playing sounds.

5. Frank Ocean,
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5. Frank Ocean, "Thinkin' 'Bout You" (Def Jam): A lighthearted, laid-back kind of love song that may help reinvent R&B.


4. Miguel, "Adorn" (ByStorm/Black Ice): "Sexual Healing" +
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4. Miguel, "Adorn" (ByStorm/Black Ice): "Sexual Healing" + "Little Red Corvette" = irresistible.

3. Carly Rae Jepsen,
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3. Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe" (SchoolBoy/Interscope): Admit it. After not hearing it for a few days, you miss it so bad. You miss it so, so bad. Where you think you going, baby?

2. Bruce Springsteen,
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2. Bruce Springsteen, "Wrecking Ball" (Columbia): An anthem that encourages you to laugh and sing in the face of adversity, while still managing to be a prime piece of storytelling.

1. fun. featuring Janelle Monae,
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1. fun. featuring Janelle Monae, "We Are Young" (Fueled by Ramen): Unconventional, both in form and substance, and yet so catchy that it doesn't matter. In a world too defined by differences, "We Are Young" focuses on similarities, aspirations and possibilities.

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