Adele, Set Fire to the Rain – If you don’t sing along with this, you have no soul.
Fiona Apple, Hot Knife – She’s great on the piano, and just as great without it.
Azealia Banks, 212 – An ass-shaking track from the Missy Elliott tradition.
Gary Clark Jr., Bright Lights – Probably my favorite song of the year. Blues done right.
Divine Fits, Shivers – This is the one track where this indie “supergroup” really comes together.
The Flaming Lips feat. Ke$ha and Biz Markie, 2012 [You Must Be Upgraded] – Classic Lips weirdness with a pair of superfreaks contributing to the fun.
Japandroids, The Nights of Wine and Roses – It rawks, plain and simple.
Alicia Keys, Tears Always Win – This could have been a Motown hit in the 1960s.
The Lumineers, Dead Sea – Cool and soulful.
Frank Ocean feat. Andre 3000, Pink Matter – Deceptively mellow, until you get into the lyrics, and the intensity kicks up a notch.
Old Crowe Medicine Show, We Don’t Grow Tobacco – An old-school, bluegrass stomper.
Tame Impala, Elephant – Groovy as hell.