She Doesn't Mind
Sean Paul
You could argue that this is not amazing, but you would be wrong (and a twat).

Play The Game Boy
If nothing else (and this is plenty else) this is 2012's best use of a Pointer Sisters sample.

This Kiss
Carly Rae Jepsen
"I went out last night. I'm going out tonight again." Probably the best opening line you will find on any song in this list.

Va Va Voom
Nicki Minaj
This was supposed to be the first single from the album, you know. We're kind of glad it wasn't — 'Starships' makes a little more impact — but if it had been the first single then it wouldn't have popped up near the end of the campaign and perhaps 'Marilyn Monroe' would have been a single, as Nicki had hoped. And we can surely all agree that the world would be a far better place if 'Marilyn Monroe' had been a single.

Olly Murs feat Flo Rida
A great song, but there are problems. 1) "There must be poison in those fin­ger­tips of yours, 'cos I keep coming back again for more." For a start 'coming back again' is a tautology. Secondly, if there was poison in her fin­ger­tips you'd probably avoid coming back ('again') for more. Olly obviously means drugs. 2) The video, in which Olly plots to fuck a waitress, is hil­ari­ously bad. 3) As is 'de rigueur', Flo Rida's rap seems to be the result of some sort of invol­un­tary spasm rather than anything that could be described as 'carefully honed  lyricism'.


Spectrum (Say My Name)
Florence '+' The Machine
In which Calvin Harris finally decides that if every other fucker in the pop cosmos is going to recycle his 'I'm Not Alone' riff, he might as well have a second bash at it himself. Flovin, as we snappily call the improb­ably tall twosome, delivered the goods again on 'Sweet Nothing' but 'Spectrum' has a certain something (better tune) that earns it a place in the Top 45. We wonder what Calvin will get up to in 2013? Probably some music, some DJing, that sort of thing.

"I chose to be happy." Does any other line in any other Rihanna single this year — and there have been 65, an impress­ive total but a 12% slump on 2011's tally — deliver quite so mas­ter­fully a massive "FUCK YOU" to an entire world wide web's worth of bleating do-gooders? The thing is, readers, you and we know that Chris Brown is a shit. Does Rihanna want to hear this? No. If she was at all likely to think he was a shit, she would probably be more swayed by having been beaten up and strangled by him than by a load of aghast liberal tweets about her respons­ib­il­ity as a role model. Of course, we should all keep being outraged, because someone has to be, but if we're expecting her to suddenly go "OH HANG ON YOU WERE ALL RIGHT" we're in for a long wait.

How We Do (Party)
Rita Ora
'RIP' — featuring your friend and ours Tinie Tempah — just missed a place on our Top 45 list, but 'How We Do (Party)' was Rita's big superstar moment so here it is at Number 28. Mind you, take a look at that single artwork. Everything about it screams '1998'. Although 1998 was a good year, so no harm done, right?

You Bring Me Joy
Amelia Lily
We instantly loved 'You Bring Me Joy' but we couldn't figure out who'd buy an Amelia Lily single. Well the technical term for the quantity of punters who purchased the single turned out to be 'a shitload'. (This is the sort of thing we were hoping Cher's comeback single would sound like.)

Good Time
Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen
From Jeppo's point of view this song is useful for two reasons. Firstly, it's amazing, and you should never argue with an amazing pop song. Secondly, it did well, so even if the rest of her career is a complete fiasco nobody can call her a one hit wonder. She will be a 1.5 hit wonder, and that is something com­pletely different.

Dance Again
J.Lo feat Pitbull
In an ideal world, 'the Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull single' will be an annual event, as sea­son­ally pre­dict­able and amazing as the first Solero of summer. 'Dance Again' didn't pack quite the chart-mauling punch of the previous year's 'On The Floor' but who can argue with the beautiful sentiment of "I wanna dance, and love, and dance again"? A bastard, that's who. A bastard who has never danced, or loved, or danced again.