TAYLOR TOP 25, January-June 2012
Mid-year 2012 is one joyous pop affair for the Taylor Top 25, with fewer maudlin ballads than marked (a rather dismal personal) 2011... At the top is out & proud Aussie cutie Anthony Callea with non-single release "I Don't Care What You Say" from EP Last To Go. Callea also places ballad "Tangled" at No. 8, easily ranking as the Top Male Act of Mid-Year 2012.
In the runner-up slot is Carly Rae Jepsen's ubiquitous "Call Me Maybe," not only one of the greatest pop anthems in years, but a testament that when Top 40 radio indulges great female pop songs, everybody wins.
Our Top Female Vocalist of the mid-year delivers everything that we love about women singers: robust, beautiful, crisp vocals sans gimmicks... Katharine McPhee has had a minor sprinkling of success on the TTT, but was never really a "wow" artist... until she was cast in NBC's 2012 series Smash.
She places four songs in the top 25, led by her American Idol shoulda-been victory song from season five, "My Destiny" at No. 3 (she lost to big-ass loser Taylor Hicks, now flipping burgers at Wendy's in North Dakota). We're obviously playing catch-up here with this beautiful power ballad.
From there, the Smash soundtrack delivers ballad "Let Me Be Your Star" with co-star Megan Hilty at No. 5, her cover of Christina Aguleira's "Beautiful" at No. 16, and Ryan Tedder-penned pop/rock/dance dazzler "Touch Me" at No. 25.
We've still got a few oh-so-sad songs that I continue to relate to: "Over You" by Miranda Lambert at No. 22 is the ideal, which speaks the hard truth: "You went away, how dare you, I miss you. They say I'll be okay, but I'm not going to ever get over you..." And Christina Perri, who delivered maudlin "The Lonely" and "Jar of Hearts" to 2011's top 20, returns with the more optimistic "A Thousand Years" at No. 6, and testy "Arms" at No. 12.
Many of the biggest mainstream hits at U.S. radio this year have been unusually inspired, considering that the airwaves remain 100% controlled by corporate mandate. Gotye, Fun., Jepsen, One Direction and Maroon 5 were all indulged by the powers that be... and are wondrous, memorable hits. I think it goes without saying that no matter how many hits Nicki Minaj has, in 10 years, she'll be regarded as the MC Hammer of our day. But these other songs will forever remind us where we were, what we were doing, marking time, when we fell in love with them. That is the magic of music. *
1. I Don't Care What You Say—Anthony Callea
2. Call Me Maybe—Carly Rae Jepsen
3. My Destiny—Katharine McPhee
4. Somebody That I Used To Know—Gotye
5. Let Me Be Your Star—“Smash,” f/Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty
6. A Thousand Years—Christina Perri
7. Dance Again—Jennifer Lopez f/Pitbull
8. Tangled—Anthony Callea
9. Payphone—Maroon 5
10. We Are Young—Fun. f/Janelle Monae
11. What Makes You Beautiful—One Direction
12. Arms—Christina Perri
13. Drive By—Train
14. Want U Back—Cher Lloyd
15. Forgiveness—Sarah McLachlan
16. Beautiful—“Smash” f/Katharine McPhee
17. Blow Me (One Last Kiss) (explicit)—Pink
18. Never Close Our Eyes—Adam Lambert
19. Lights—Ellie Goulding
20. My Kind Of Love—Emeli Sandé
21. How We Do (Party)—Rita Ora
22. Over You—Miranda Lambert
23. Black Heart—Stooshe
24. Good in Goodbye—Carrie Underwood
25. Touch Me—“Smash” f/Katharine McPhee