Battle Of The Christmas Songs

We never tire of hearing Wham!, The Pogues or Mariah every year, but a few new additions would be welcome too. Here are five of this year’s contenders and our verdict on whether they’ll make next year’s Christmas compilations…

Train – Shake Up Christmas

Train are quite famous in America, hence this festive number is the soundtrack to Coca-Cola’s 2010 Christmas campaign. As such, it’s everything you’d expect it to be: bouncy, cheesy and trite. Train sing about Santa, dreams and world peace with snowflakes in their hair and bells dinging in the background, so there’s no doubt this will be a surefire hit. By the way, shaking up Christmas is fine, but shaking up your Coca-Cola is not advisable.

Are there sleigh bells? Yes.

Will Fearne Cotton play it? Just try stopping her.

Will it be on 2011’s Christmas compilation CD? Very probably.

Poly Styrene – Black Christmas

Remember 80s punk band X Ray Spex? Frontwoman extraordinaire Poly Styrene has a new album out soon – but as a taste of things to come she’s also released this not-so-festive tune. Depicting scenes of a drunk Santa, postal Santa and kleptomaniac Santa, this is as far away from Train as physically possible – but we absolutely love its ska/reggae beat and melancholy lyrics. “I’m dreaming of a black black Christmas,” she opines as images of a crucified Jesus flash before us. “Oh no, not merry no,” she continues. We’re guessing she’s a glass half-empty type of gal but she can sure as hell write a tune.

Are there sleigh bells? Yes – sleigh bells are for the miserable too you know.

Will Fearne Cotton play it? We can picture her confusion now.

Will it be on 2011’s Christmas compilation CD? Er, no.

Coldplay – Christmas Lights

Now we were intrigued by this one, because Coldplay and Christmas are not natural bedfellows are they? Chris & co have decided to dress for a Victorian Christmas for the video, as the keys tinkle and we hear about a lost love and how the Oxford Street Christmas lights cheer Chris up. Really? Even the Narnia-themed ones? As an advert for London, this video stands out with its fireworks over the river skyline and we reckon the song could be a grower too. Surprisingly, not a complete turkey.

Are there sleigh bells? No, but there’s a bit of Pogues-style festive piano, so nearly there.

Will Fearne Cotton play it? She’ll be all over it like a bad rash.

Will it be on 2011’s Christmas compilation CD? Absolutely.

Lola Dutronic – (Another) Christmas Without Snow

Crashing on to Lola Dutronic, who reminds us of Dubstar from back in the 90s. This ode to Christmas only has four words (you guessed it, the title), sung over and over to accompany a Japanese anime-style video. Our heroine dreams of snow, wears Santa hats while looking pouty and when she opens her eyes, there’s still no snow. What can you say, other than life’s not fair. And that she’s clearly not living in the UK right now.

Are there sleigh bells? Sleigh bells overload – our clear winner in this category.

Will Fearne Cotton play it? Negative, captain.

Will it be on 2011’s Christmas compilation CD? An alternative one, maybe.

Hurts – All I Want For Christmas Is New Year’s Day

Last but not at all least, it’s onto everybody’s favourite 80s revivalists of the moment, Manchester duo Hurts. If this was a styling contest, this video would win hands-down – nothing Hurts do or wear is by accident. Novelly for a Christmas track, Hurts spend the video at an uber-stylish funeral with snow fluttering down on their creamy skin, surrounded by models and Andy Warhol-alikes. The funeral turns into a candlelit knees-up eventually and Hurts even crack a festive smile as the song builds to a satisfying crescendo with the title being oh-so-truthful for many. A non-cheesy, uplifting Christmas song? We likey. Watch it here.

Are there sleigh bells? Of course – they’re not amateurs.

Will Fearne Cotton play it? Like, yar.

Will it be on 2011’s Christmas compilation CD? Depends if 2011 really is their year, doesn’t it?

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