Best Songs of the Year (So Far): #25-21

Carly Rae Jepsen's video for "Call Me Maybe"

Carly made the countdown!

Fun fact! Superstars almost always release new music in the last quarter of the year, when everyone’s itching to buy holiday gifts. Before the onslaught, I’m counting down the best 25 songs of the year so far. If it’s on this list, it either came out in 2012 or rose to prominence this year.

#25. “Everybody Talks” by Neon Trees

As you know, I’ve been down with this kicky rock anthem since late last year, but it’s just now becoming a huge hit. And why not? It’s got an amazing beat, a killer chorus, and it can make you feel more energetic than a case of Red Bull dipped in cocaine.

#24 “Runaways” by The Killers

Let’s stay on the rock tip for a minute and praise this stellar anthem from The Killers. It’s the only song from 2012 that makes me want to buy a lighter just so I can wave it in the air. In my full-length review, I called it my favorite rock song of the year, and while I’ve cooled on it a little since then, it is still scorching my face with its awesome heat.

#23 “Primadonna” by Marina and the Diamonds

This dark and sultry electro ballad, about a woman who happily toys with her man, is really strange. Marina’s vocals are half-growls, and the structure is out of control, zipping from an airy chorus to verses full of ugly, grinding guitars. But that chaos is captivating, especially because Marina’s voice, odd as it is, is impossible to ignore.

#22. “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen

By the end of the year, I might actually rank this song higher. I’m sick of it now, but that’s only because I’ve heard it a billion times. And the reason people keep playing it is because it’s a perfect slice of pop music. I guarantee you that in five years, it will be the song that makes every wedding go crazy. Because who wouldn’t be excited to hear this at a wedding? It’s designed for an all-ages dance party.

#21 “Kangaroo Court” by Capital Cities

This addictive, surprisingly thoughtful dance tune was one of the first songs I wrote about for NNN, and I still love it. Come for the swirling keyboards and the shout-along chorus. Stay for the message about enjoying your life while you can!

Mark Blankenship tweets as @IAmBlankenship. In some ways, he lives to rank pop songs.