Brent’s Top 5 Best Songs of 2012

Believe me, I try to limit posts with a negative overtone. However, sometimes I have to write them. When I do though, I try to “right the ship” so to speak by later following up with a positive post. Last week I listed my Top 5 WORST Songs of 2012. Now that I got that out of my system I would like to recognize the artists who actually made good music this year and present my Top 5 Best Songs of 2012.

5. “Titanium” – David Guetta and Sia

I really enjoy about 75% of Guetta’s beats and “Titanium” definitely fits into that percentile. I dig how the song starts really slow and then picks up speed but never goes off the track and gets real fast. Even though it doesn’t get too crazy beat wise, you can still dance to it.

But I don’t even think Guetta’s role in the song is the best part. How about the vocals of Sia? She has such a strong and sexy voice. Although I really don’t know much about Titanium besides it on the periodic table, after listening to the song I definitely want to be it too! The song carries a message about being resilient and tough and I can relate.

4. “Let Me Love You” – Ne-Yo

I am lucky enough to receive “Promo Only Mainstream” CDs each month. These CDs contain the tracks of singles that will be released in the next month. When I heard “Let Me Love You” for the first time I knew it would be a hit.

As with “Titanium” the song starts a little slow and then picks up speed and really gets going. The lyrics, although overused by millions of girls on social media, are meaningful and heartfelt. This is probably the one song on the list that I am now sick of hearing but during its prime I really enjoyed it. GIRL LET ME LOVE YOU!!!!

3. “Drunk On You” – Luke Bryan

This was definitely my anthem of the summer and listening to this song will always take me back to it. Luke Bryan had an incredible year and this is an incredible song. If you absolutely despise country you might not go for it but if you are open at all you will like it.

The lyrics of “Girl you make my speakers go boom boom” work so well and provide a special kind of imagery. The melody is a masterpiece and Bryan’s voice is gold. Nothing says summer more than “Drunk On You” and almost everyone can relate.

2. “Wide Awake” – Katy Perry

Okay, I will admit that I feel like less of a man by admitting that I like a Katy Perry song, let alone saying it was my second favorite of the year, but I can’t lie. “Wide Awake” is by far the best thing that Perry has ever made. A song that will also remind me of Summer 2012, I still have no problem listening to this song on the radio.

Katy Perry’s voice in this song is just so clear and crisp. You get a great feel for her vocals and she in general just does a superb job of performing the song. The part where she shouts out “Til I woke up on the concrete” still registers as a favorite line of mine and you just gotta love all of her “I’M WIDE AWAKE” declarations at the end of the song. Of course, part of the reason why I love it centers on the song title itself…anything that follows the same type of message as “Don’t Blink” will get on my good side! I can definitely say that I relate to being WIDE AWAKE most of the time.

1. “God Gave Me You” – Blake Shelton

Not even close.

“God Gave Me You” is by far and away my top song of 2012. I can’t express how amazing of a song this is or put into words how much it means to me. Blake Shelton puts so much emotion, effort, and feeling into four minutes of absolute musical bliss that it hits me every single time.

For “Drunk On You” I said if you despise country you might not like the song BUT when it comes to “God Gave Me You” I don’t care how much you hate the genre, you will appreciate Blake’s masterpiece. When this song came out, I didn’t even have someone who I could count as a person who ‘God gave me” but it didn’t matter…the song was just so powerful that I fell in love with it and wanted to make sure I met that person who Blake sings about.

It is a song about self-critique, appreciation, togetherness, and love. It is the ultimate ode to someone you can’t live without. I have several favorite lines but let me just share a few: 1. “I’ve been a walking heartache, I’ve made a mess of me….the person I’ve been lately, ain’t who I want to be.” 2. “There’s more here than what we’re seeing…a divine conspiracy.” 3.. ‘We are stitched together, and what love has tethered I pray we never undo.”

I had the opportunity to watch Blake Shelton perform this song from the front row in Spokane this past March and I will never forget it. “God Gave Me You” will always be with me.

Seeing Blake Shelton in concert from the front row sing "God Gave Me You" was amazing.

Seeing Blake Shelton in concert from the front row sing “God Gave Me You” was amazing.

Watching the American Country Awards in Person

My brother, his friend Brandon, and myself were sitting at an outdoor venue in Vegas called the Corner Bar. It is right between Bill’s Gambling Hall and the Flamingo and it offers an elevated deck to sit at and enjoy a cold drink while watching the Vegas throngs walk every direction on the strip. Drenched in the December sunshine and getting a kick out of the people that walked by, we were having an awesome time. The hour approached 4 p.m. and even though I could have been content to sit there the rest of the night, I knew I would kick myself for a long time if I didn’t get up and start heading north on the strip.

“Glen, we have to go down to Mandalay Bay,” I told my brother as we sat in our stools. “I will regret it if I don’t see this show. “

I was referring to the American Country Awards, a mega celebration honoring the superstars of the business annually held at the Mandalay Bay. My brother graciously agreed to walk down with me even though it meant that he might have to hang by himself for a couple hours. You see, we had actually ventured to the Mandalay Bay earlier in the day and tried to get tickets. However, most of the only seats available were in the ultra expensive section and the remaining few left in the more affordable sections were obstructed views and were not together. However, the people at the box office told us to come back right before the show and check again as sometimes seats would open up.

I was prepared to just buy a single seat with an obstructed view and watch the show by myself. However, because we had waited so long I thought that option might had even passed me by. The show started at 5 p.m. and we got to the Mandalay Bay box office at around 4:35 p.m. Expecting the worst, I actually received the best case scenario. Seats actually had opened up, and good ones too! I quickly called Glen over and asked if he wanted to see the show and before he could even answer I told the ticket lady that we would take two tickets…Glen was not going to miss this with me. At $75 per ticket to see the people we listen to on the radio every day, I was not going to let either of us pass this by.


Our tickets to the American Country Awards.

We got our tickets and ventured right to the Mandalay Bay events center. First thing I noticed upon entering besides the thousands of cowboys and cowgirls surrounding us? The pristine condition of the arena’s concourse. The place was spotless. We got to our great seats (second level, to the right of the stage) and settled in for the show. Before the show started there were several announcements over the public address system notifying us when it would start, what a great time we were in for, and that the production would be live. The voice also encouraged us to take our seats and to be loud. A few minutes before the show started, a GAC personality came out and gave us a pep talk pretty much echoing what the public address voice had said. He told us to sing along to every song, cheer loudly, and have a great time. He said if we performed all three of these things, we would have a chance to get on television. Finally, the show started…

The voice counted down to the start of the show and Luke Bryan came out and rocked the house, singing “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye.” It got me so pumped up and excited to have a seat at the show. Out of all the performers, he was one of my favorites. Besides Bryan, I got to see all of these other stars perform: Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Lynard Skynard + Trace Adkins, Kip Moore, Little Big Town, and Lady Antebellum. My other two top performances were by the Lynard Kkynard + Trace Adkins combo and Kip Moore.

Kip Moore performing during the ACA's.

Kip Moore performing during the ACA’s.

Trace Adkins and Kristin Chenoweth hosted the show. Although I didn’t know much about Chenoweth going in, I know a lot now, especially that she is small and that she has an unmistakable voice. The duo did a great job hosting and made me laugh a lot. I will always remember Kristin coming out on stage dressed as Honey Boo Boo.

This was my first ever awards show and let me tell you, they got it down to a science. The show started promptly at 5 p.m. and ended right at 7 p.m. I guess I expected to see more chaos and running around with set changes and stage managers trying to direct people all over the place but none of that occurred. The production ran flawlessly and set changes were quiet and quick. When a performance ended, a simple wall would close sectioning off the old set while the new set was constructed in. You ever wonder what happens during commercial breaks for audience entertainment? At the ACA’s they replayed performances on the big screens from last year’s show. At the conclusion of the old video, the voice over the public address system would countdown to the show beginning again and ask for applause.

Lady A receiving Group of the Year honors.

Lady A receiving Group of the Year honors.

One of my favorite parts of the experience was just to look down on all the talent that sat stage side. I enjoyed watching them interact with each other and mingle from seat to seat during the commercial breaks. Of course you had all of the major country superstars but you also had general celebrities there as well. Carmen Electra, Ron White, Penn and Teller, Natasha Bedingfield, and a couple San Francisco Giants players all presented awards. Even though I don’t get star struck, I do get a little caught up in so much talent being under one roof.

I do admit that probably after the first hour, the show started to run together for me a little bit. When you see so many stars perform and so many celebrities present in such a short time span, you get a little overwhelmed. So naturally, when I mentioned all of the performers above, I know I probably left out one or two…same goes with the presenters. I wouldn’t even dare recapping the show in fear of leaving out significant pieces of the night.

What a great time my brother and I had!

What a great time my brother and I had!

The American Country Awards will go down as a very fond memory for me. Of course the reason that predictably stands out for making this event so memorable was that I got to see my favorite musicians perform under one roof. However, it goes deeper than that. This experience was so awesome because I got to see it in my favorite city, view it in a cool venue, and share it with the one person who I would most want to. I feel very fortunate to have made this part of my Vegas experience. Don’t Blink.