So this is Christmas, and what have you done? I’ve listened to a whole bunch of new music this year – but frankly, what’s new music when it’s now considered OK to play Wham!’s Last Christmas at crazy volumes? Nowt, that’s what. However, it’s not all about Mariah, Wham! and The Pogues, despite what radio stations may tell you. Because every year a new crop of Christmas hopefuls appear at the festive pop pedestal, and it’s up to you, dear reader, to decide whether to let them through or kick them into touch. Last year we had Coldplay, Train and Hurts. This year’s candidates, make yourself known…
Justin Bieber & Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas
If there was one record that truly didn’t need to be overhauled this season, it’s the Mariah classic All I Want For Christmas Is You. The original has it all – a coy Mariah, a sweet sentiment and a catchy chorus. But modern times call for modernisation – and that means wheeling in the big guns. Or Justin Bieber. And so we have Mariah trotting out the first verse in a skimpy Santa outfit, then Bieber screeching verse two while hamming it up to camera and clutching his chest like he’s in pain. Oh dear god, make it stop. Add in shameless product placement and a video so sickly sweet we’re still picking it out of our teeth and whoever’s responsible for this should be taken out and made to have dinner with Jeremy Clarkson. Oh, and did we mention the chilling bit where Bieber climbs
Bryan Adams – Merry Christmas
For Bryan’s Christmas cracker he’s gone the whole hog, coming up with a tune that rhymes ‘choir’ with ‘fire’ and one that has sleigh bells jingling throughout – admirable. Couple that with the fact that the video is honest-to-god-real-life footage of a mini Bryan and his brother toddling around in 1961 and you don’t need a roaring fire to warm your stone cold heart – just watch the video and coo. The fact that the song’s a load of ol’ Christmas trite is beside the point. Honestly, you’re so picky sometimes.
TOWIE – Last Christmas
I’ll admit it – I’m a TOWIE virgin – even though I’m originally from Essex. Perhaps that’s why. So from my limited perspective, this seems to be a group of orange people talking about Christmas vajazzles and having a reem Christmas while singing badly over the top of a Casio-keyboard backing track. I’m assuming this could definitely make the top ten – think of it as like being on the 10.33pm from Fenchurch Street to Basildon on the Friday before Christmas. No, we wouldn’t recommend that either.
X Factor Finalists – Wishing On A Star
Ther X Factor finalists are all here – croaky Janet, fat Craig, moustachioed Marcus, super-shiny Misha B. And at the big key change towards the end, they’re joined by jumpered-up X Factor alumni JLS and One Direction. There are also sick children in the video, smiling even though they have tubes coming out of their mouths. If you buy this, sick children will not die. However, musically, inside, you will. It’s completely up to you.