50 Best Songs of 2012

Taylor made weapons-grade teen pop; Kanye put his brain on cruise-control, dubstep kingpins and stadium rockers invited us all to their parties

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Craig Finn, 'Rented Room'
Mark Seliger40/50

40. Craig Finn, 'Rented Room'

The Hold Steady frontman spins a tale about a down-and-out metalhead stuck in a cheap motel after a nasty breakup: "Playing records in a rented room/Hotter Than Hell into Bark at the Moon." But the darkest part of this very dark story is the way Finn makes his guitar toll like a funeral bell.

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