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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Bruce Springsteen, 'Rocky Ground'
Courtesy of Sony Music7/50

7. Bruce Springsteen, 'Rocky Ground'

This bold melding of church hymn, plain-folks lament and hip-hop protest bloomed on tour as Springsteen turned on his arena-preacher vibe. The song is a somber assessment of America’s state of equality; live, Springsteen turned up the light and promise – proving that the right way to hear this song of the year was not on iTunes.

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