Many of the recurring criticisms I have regarding most pop music (bland, boring, safe, dumbed down, void of emotion, etc.) are exacerbated when the bands pump out tired covers of the same holiday standards. Most of the time, you can hear just how disinterested the band itself is in performing these generic tunes just to score some extra cash on the novelty of it all. OMG! Rascal Flats has THEIR own stamp on "Grandma Got Runover by a Reindeer!" TAKE ME TO THE NEAREST WAL-MART AT ONCE SO I MAY MARVEL OVER IT'S BRILLIANCE!
To be fair, not all Xmas music is total shit. The Pogues "Fairytale of New York" is one of their best songs. The Boys had tons of fun (under the moniker the Yobs) shitting on some, turning other holiday classics into pornographic, misogynistic piss-takes (that are pure aural joys. There's the Sonic's "I Don't Believe in Christmas" and A Christmas Gift for You from Phillie Records album to dig. Even this Punk Rock Advent Calendar is a bit of cheeky fun.
Bob Dylan came out with his take on the genre under the very apt argument that these songs were traditional standards that endure because of modern artists interpreting them in their own way. This doesn't mean they are always successful or even tolerable more than...10% of the time. There are very fucking few exceptions to the axiom that most Christmas music is shit so please allow me to share with you the worst I've ever had to endure.
She and Him - A Very She and Him Christmas
Once I heard about this album I was immediately glad that Borders went out of business because otherwise I was sure to have to listen to this garbage on loop for 8 hours a day. I'm sorry, I just don't get the appeal of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward's dull as fuck music. Sure, she's got a nice voice but that doesn't mean the music is worth listening to. I avoided this thing like AIDS and had been safe until yesterday when Mrs. Debauchery dragged my ass to a Kirkland's and it almost put me to sleep standing. If anyone can explain to me why people give a shit what this lame hipster who is responsible for the word "adorkable" attempts to contribute to music, I will gladly pay your bar tab. You want GOOD modern versions of AM radio pop music? You had the Pipettes and now can bask in the glory of the Pepper Pots. Even the reverse gender roles on the ultimate holiday date rape anthem couldn't hold my interest.
Josh Groban - Noel
Like clockwork, every October we'd get another copy of this CD to stuff into the player and would be mandated by the corporate geniuses who engineered Borders swirl down the toilet to put this shit on blast for four fucking months. All the good will he got from the "I'm Fucking Ben Affleck" video and trying to hip his dinosaur audience to Nick Cave (he performed a pretty asstastic version of "Straight to You" on his last album. Yes, I hate myself for being aware of that) was gone once this turd landed in my ears. Look, I get that old white ladies need vocal stimuli to get their granny panties moist for their hordes of cats to chow down on but the American king of pop-era and his PBS shilled Christmas disc makes me pine for Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct to go to town on my balls like a goddamned block of ice. Plus, he looks like a mongoloid version of Bill Fool.
Straight No Chaser - Christmas Cheer
Ooof. This is almost the worst on the list (hint: our winner involves Jesus and fancy footwear!) and is another offering pimped out by PBS. Coupled with Josh Groban (yes, that 1-2 tandem of fucking suck happened in 2010!) this makes me want to vote Republican so they defund the pricks. A fellow mall employee came by to borrow some Xmas music and I gladly yanked this shit out of the stereo and quickly shoved her out the door. She came back 20 minutes later and politely thanked me for the offering when I could tell she wanted to break the disc over my head and open my veins with the shattered remnants of the CD. What you get here is some acapella bullshit that can only be erased from your memory with copious amounts of whiskey and Slayer. Look, I hate all the bullshit machismo built around beer commercials ("GRRRRR! IF YOU DRINK LIGHT BEER YER A FAG! RAWWR! MY PROTRUDING GUT IS A TESTAMENT TO THE LENGTH OF MY COCK!") but it's clear the only sexual activity these cats enjoy is the pre-show circle jerk while harmonizing. That's not me calling them gay. They're clearly acappella-sexual. If there were women in this group one of the guys would be flicking her jelly bean in the aforementioned pre-show activities. Sorry, no embed available for this one although that might be to your benefit. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7E-47VmFopE
Aretha Franklin - This Christmas
Don't get me wrong. I fucking love Aretha and I understand aging pop stars are wont to do lazy shit like this to supplement their income instead of actually producing new music (hey, didn't Al Green release a pretty decent album a couple of years ago?). But this song right here is just straight embarrassing. So, not only is nepotism on display but Eddie's little Mariah Carey moment followed by some terrible scat/rap combo...the Queen of Soul's word salad ramblings...This was a Borders exclusive and right around liquidation they shipped us a fuckton of the album to be priced at 99 cents. It took over three years and the company going out of business to unload this diaper stain of a Christmas album.
Newsong - The Christmas Shoes
Tim Tebow could release a Christmas song lamenting sheared foreskins and aborted fetuses and I would not be able to hate it as much as "The Christmas Shoes." I would rather have married a Juggalette or my nephew grow up to be the new Chris Martin than this song exist. And to throw some more salt in the wound the little shit in the video is wearing a Red Sox hat. Fuck atheism. I am SURE there is a God now who endeared his wretched minions with the dearth to create this song and for it to become a bonafide hit JUST TO TORTURE ME BECAUSE I AM HEATHEN SCUM. 8-Bit hadn't heard this travesty of an aural abortion until a few weeks ago and I envy him. I wish I didn't spend two Christmases with this Christian rock bullshit pulsating from the overhead speakers every half hour. I hope Christopher Hitchens survives his cancer treatment and can walk up to the singer of Newsong and put his foot squarely in that cunt's nutsack! I hope Richard Dawkins writes a treatise on this song more condescending than The God Delusion and reads it to these bastards, stopping to explain every obvious scientific theorem twenty times over. Hang on, I gotta do a shot.
/downs bottle of Jameson while receiving sympathetic looks from the dogs
So, if you want the quick version of why this song is so wretched (lyrically) then check out Patton Oswalt NUKING it here. Earlier, I brought up my general complaints regarding most pop music ((bland, boring, safe, dumbed down, void of emotion, etc.) and this song fits that perfectly. I feel that criticising the music on display is a moot point considering all the assholes that love this song focus more on the lyrics than music. How else could you explain the enduring popularity of Christian pop music? What fucking parent sends his son out to get a pair of motherfucking shoes before his wife/the kids mom croaks? And the protagonist outs himself as a gaping asshole for standing in line on December 24th to buy gifts for people he could give a FUCK about. If my hardcore Baptist grandmother who is about to be put in hospice care heard this load of crap she'd have the same objections her beloved atheist grandson does: it's antithetical to the tenets of Christianity, it's a bunch of Joel Osteen buy your way into heaven propagated bunk, it's a shitty song that shouldn't be excused because it makes Glenn Beck's dick hard (okay, that last part might not be true)!
Because Jesus didn't believe in sharing I can't embed this here. Troll in the comments random people who were misguided to my blog by google.
I leave you with this, my final argument on Christmas music as contradictory as it is. A lame song I enjoy due to its timeliness and stance against the general public mood.