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

Fiona Apple, 'Hot Knife'
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Courtesy of Epic Publicity12/50

12. Fiona Apple, 'Hot Knife'

Over chattering jungle drums and rolling jazz piano, a multitracked Apple scats, murmurs and hollers a double-entendre ("I'm a hot knife, he's a pad of butter") and goes searching for "the genesis of rhythm." Girl sounds like some mythic blues Eve who just got her first bite of forbidden fruit and really likes the taste.

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