When Usher dropped “Climax” as the first single from his recent album Looking 4 Myself, it not only took everyone by surprise but also had us remembering his heavy R&B roots.
Well, Time magazine has given the song the #1 spot on its “Top Songs of 2012″ list. Writer Douglas Wolk lays out the reasons why “Climax” topped the list.
It never gets to a climax itself: Usher’s magnificent performance here, which is justifiably much louder than anything else on the recording, is all tension building and no release (it starts with his 800-thread satin falsetto), and pulls back every time it seems like it’s building toward a lunge forward. You could say the same for the song itself, with its lyrics that are phrased like a seduction but are actually about a dead-end relationship. It denies its listeners the pleasure of a destination; instead, we get to focus on the thrill of where it is at every moment.
Nicki Minaj’s “Roman In Moscow” also made the list, along with Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” and Psy’s “Gangnam Style.” Head over to Time.com to see the rest of the list.