Oh boy, there was some stuff in 2012. And lots of that stuff can stay the hell in 2012. Ubiquitous four to the floor tracks, annoygin vocal ticks and Emeli Sande got on our writers’ nerves this year. But as ever we liked a lot, too. In fact, 2012 was a bumper year for trends. R&B’s landscape was redefined, artists returned second albums that didn’t suck (easier said than recorded) and the pop tracks that dominated were actually pretty sophisticated (we’re talking about those violin strings at the start of “Call Me Maybe”). So let’s carry that forward to 2013 please, music. And if the world doesn’t grind to a stop come Friday, let’s still leave all the irritating trends behind.
A few things I’d like to leave in 2012:
- Whistling. I’ve always been suspicious of songs that use ‘la la la’ as a legitimate chorus but that has nothing on songs that use whistling as a legitimate chorus. And it wasn’t even just those big pop songs (you know which ones I’m talking about) that are guilty. Tucked away on countless albums are songs full of easy-to-achieve but lazy-as-hell whistling. It’s not big, it’s certainly not clever and it’s really difficult to replicate three gin and tonics through a night on a crowded dance-floor.
- The concept of a ‘hater-proof’ song (Scooter Braun’s words not mine). Justin Bieber’s Believe was pretty darn good but that didn’t stop your classic slew of ‘Justin Bieber is the seventh sign of the apocalpse’ style rants. Hopefully, “Die In Your Arms” will change that. But it’s unlikely. And yet, if enough of these
- The lack of sophomore slumps in 2012 was refreshing. Even if Grizzly Bear and Mumford’s albums didn’t dazzle critics like their first efforts, they didn’t bomb. And that may seem like faint praise but other artists blazed their well-worn path to triumphant albums. Hot Chip’s In Our Heads victoriously proved that, like a fine wine, bands age well. Or delivery pizza, whatever.