Green light, red light: Christmas songs to keep, to toss

As the sun set on Thanksgiving Day and the overly-caffeinated shoppers snagged the last sale items at Best Buy on Black Friday, the Christmas season officially began. Some warmly embrace this time of year, while others grimace at tacky Christmas commercials and threaten to become a Jehovah’s Witness just to escape from the yuletide chaos.

There is usually an element of the Christmas season that can make or break a person’s holiday spirit: Christmas music. There are some Christmas songs that can get even the worst kind of Scrooge to decorate a Christmas cookie or two, while other songs can turn a jovial holiday elf into a full-blown Grinch. Some holiday tunes are great until they are overplayed on the radio, making listeners change the station faster than Santa delivers presents on Christmas Eve — what do you mean Santa Claus isn’t real? How else does Mariah Carey still have a career?

To ensure our readers don’t make the grave mistake of picking the worst kind of holiday songs, The State Press has composed two holiday playlists, one to avoid and one to play while hanging decorations in super classy holiday pajamas and sipping a glass of eggnog. Whether the eggnog is spiked or unspiked, the “Green Light” Christmas playlist will keep anyone in the holiday spirit.

 

 

Red Light: Christmas Songs to Toss

 

1. Any cover of Wham!’s “Last Christmas.” There is no denying that “Last Christmas” is an awful song and probably should not have been written. It seems that every pop star has taken a stab at the Wham! Christmas hit with Taylor Swift being one of the worst offenders. “Last Christmas” should have stayed in the ‘80s where it belongs.

2. “Drummer Boy” by Justin Bieber. Unfortunately, every song on Justin Bieber’s 2011 album “Under the Mistletoe” is a complete disaster. Bieber’s rendition of the Christmas classic “Drummer Boy” is so atrocious, Kris Kringle himself would shed a single tear and hide under the covers. Bieber is to thank if Christmas is ruined.

3. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by Jessica Simpson. It’s no secret that Jessica Simpson isn’t the greatest vocalist. Her cover of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” is poorly produced and performed.

4. “Girl of My Dreams” by The Jonas Brothers. The first few lines of “Girl of My Dreams” are as painful to listen to as the awful guitar riff that plays throughout the track. This song is not “better than eggnog.” In fact, spoiled eggnog might be better than this song.

5. “Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano. There are hardly words to describe the headache that follows after a full listen of the famously repetitive “Feliz Navidad.” The song is catchy until listeners grow tired of repeating “Feliz Navidad” for over three minutes.

 

 

Green Light: Christmas Songs to Keep

 

1. “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey. It can be debated that this song is one of the few reasons that Mariah Carey is still relevant. This romantic and fun-filled track is one we all secretly wish would play as we get caught under the mistletoe with a Christmas crush. The performance of this song in the movie “Love Actually” is heartwarming and sure to get anyone in the holiday spirit, unless he or she is a robot.

2. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Bing Crosby and Doris Day. Many renditions of this classic song have been attempted, and while many are noteworthy, the original “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is still the best. Crosby and Day’s velvet voices combine to create a seductive jingle.

3. “O Holy Night” by ‘N Sync. The only boy band to release a successful Christmas album is ‘N Sync with “Home for Christmas.” Bieber needs to take notes on the vocal perfection in the a capella version of “O Holy Night.”

4. “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” by Nat King Cole. This Christmas gem has been keeping holiday enthusiasts in yuletide bliss since 1946. One of the most famous Christmas songs to ever be recorded, “The Christmas Song” is a track to listen to and share with loved ones. This song is a timeless holiday gift that keeps on giving.

5. “Carol of the Bells” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. This is the song playing while those last-minute shoppers race through department stores searching for gifts. The intensity in this version of one of Christmas’s sweetest carols makes this song an epic holiday treat.

 

Reach the reporter at arts.statepress@asu.edu