Previously on p² to the nth: p² traveled back in time to post part one of his favorite songs of 2012. If you missed it, you can read it here: Part One
Without any further fanfare, here are the top 11 songs on the list.
11. Die In Your Arms (Justin Bieber) – I've been able to keep these lists Taylor Swift-free, but this is the second song by Justin that I've found Biebelicious. I think he could make the transition into adulthood as a pop star. Either way, it will be interesting to watch it unfold because he's really the first teen star of the “grew up on the internet” generation.
10. Brighter Than the Sun (Katharine McPhee) – There were several songs that Kat covered in the TV series Smash that I preferred over the original because I love her voice. But this one makes the list because I actively disliked this song UNTIL I heard Kat sing it. Now I love it. I couldn't find the scene from the show, which is a shame because I thought it really showcased her ability to be a pop star in a way that no one has been able to do before.
9. Don’t Rush (Kelly Clarkson) – Kelly doesn't write many love songs. I'm thinking maybe it wasn't a coincidence that this song ended up on her greatest hits album after she had just announced she was engaged. It also extends the eerie kinship Kelly and I have. On Breakaway she recorded Addicted, right at the time I was becoming a full-time meth addict. On My December, she recorded Sober just as I was getting sober. Now she gets engaged just as I'm falling in love. Spooky.
8. Payphone (Maroon 5) – Every song from here on was in the running for my favorite song of the year at some point. I feel like Adam Levine is possibly the coolest pop star on the planet. I'm probably the only one who thinks that, but fortunately this is my blog so it was a unanimous decision here. But Payphone? I wonder how many kids had to look that one up. And I love that he has some rapper (Wiz Khalifa) jump in out of nowhere in the middle of the song.
7. The Fighter (Gym Class Heroes/Ryan Tedder) – “Did you ever feel like your train of thought's been derailed. That's when you press on. Lee Nails.” Best lyric of the year. Add Ryan Tedder's awesome voice and you've got the hottest anthem of the year. The lyrics are seriously inspirational (to me).
6. Just Give Me a Reason (P!nk) – This was just released as a single this month, but I've been playing it into the ground since I downloaded the album in October. Nate Ruess, the lead singer from fun., is the other voice. This is by far the most beautiful song on this list. It simultaneously gives me a knot in my stomach and a melancholy but hopeful feeling. I know most people are aware of just how great P!nk's voice is, but I still think it might be one of the two most underrated voices in pop music (Beyoncé is the other).
5. Touch Me (Katharine McPhee) – It seems like I love anything Ryan Tedder has a hand in, unless it's for OneRepublic (he's their lead singer). He wrote this for Kat's character in Smash. Four of the top five songs on this list either weren't released as singles or bombed commercially. This is not the exception. It hit number four on Billboard's very prestigious Hot Dance Club Songs chart. That was it. It didn't even make it onto any of their other charts. But for at least three months I was certain this would be my number one song of the year. It didn't hurt that she looked super hot in the scene.
4. Night of Your Life (David Guetta/Jennifer Hudson) – For all the fame and accolades J-Hud gets, her pop music career has bordered on abysmal. This was released as a promotional single for David Guetta's Nothing But the Beat album and fizzled at number 81 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was actually released in 2011 but it was 2012 when I first heard it, so it makes this list. It almost certainly would have been in the top 12 on this list on its own, but then I met Michael. After that I played it repeatedly for about three months. I still perk up whenever it comes up on my iPhone.
3. The Vision of Love (Kris Allen) – I already highlighted this song to kick off the August blog bonanza so I won't say too much more about it. I think it's a crime that if you're from American Idol and your name isn't Daughtry, Kelly or Carrie you don't get played on pop radio (with the exception of the winning single). It wouldn't be saying much to say this is Kris Allen's best effort since winning Idol (it is). Instead I'll say this is probably one of my five favorite Idol songs from anyone not listed four lines up.
2. Let Me Down (Kelly Clarkson) – I almost never listen to the radio anymore. The Adele Plague of 2010/11 pretty much cured me of that. Again, it's not that I don't like Adele. I like her. Really. But San Diego radio stations only played 12 songs and for about 14 months five of them were by Adele. I still twitch a little bit at even the first few notes of Someone Like You.
Of course you have no idea what that has to do with this song. Well, as you may see if you watch the clip, there was no video for this song. It wasn't released as a single. Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) was “the” song from this album. Because of how late I'm writing this post I can even tell you that it was nominated for Record of the Year at the Grammys. But from the first time I listened to the album, Let Me Down was my favorite song. It's quintessential Kelly.
1. Blow Me (One Last Kiss) (P!nk) -- The more I hear P!nk I fall more and more in love with her. Three years ago, when I heard a P!nk song I loved I would wish Kelly Clarkson had sung it. That's not the case anymore. Another album or two and I'll be saying Kelly AND P!nk are my two favorite pop singers. And this song is one of those “I should be sick of hearing but I never am” tracks.