Saturday, 19 December 2009

A Christmas Music Compilation

The season to be jolly and spread festive cheer instead of exotic sexual diseases is apparently upon us, so I thought I would review the staple of the season – the music. The good thing about Christmas is that it puts me into a more appropriate mood – one of pure hatred.

That’s right, I don’t like Christmas. This should come as no surprise as I’m pretty misanthropic at the best of times; but when it comes to this time of year my misanthropy boils over to levels that even bloody Joseph Stalin couldn’t rival. It’s an empty shallow capitalist holiday that has sucked all the true meaning of the occasion out and what we are left with is long queues, ramped up prices, and everyone walking around pretending they are happy. I could certainly shop online but then I would feel like they had won; plus going outside prevents the state from declaring me legally dead. Yes, I am the Grinch in the flesh: but in case you’re thinking that I’m going to start this review like Scrooge but by the end I’ll be George Bailey at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life, then you are sadly mistaken and may want to leave now before I offend you and the rest of the boy scouts.

Christmas songs are for the most part bad, so I have searched internet for songs that fail so badly they as well be in charge of our fucking economy. And here are the ten arguably worst Christmas songs to disgrace this planet.

1) Metro Station – Last Christmas

Thought this would as good as place as any to start. Metro Station, a band that I reviewed previously (who are sexual deviants in the disguise of shit musicians), have covered Wham’s eternal classic ‘Last Christmas’. Listening to the song is a bit like your cat dying and your parents try to replace it, but can only get a goat at short notice so they stick the goat in a cat costume. It may appear the same but it just doesn’t feel right. Even the Crazy Frog version was less embarrassing and I don't say that lightly. This version is like living inside a futuristic youth’s mind. Even the lead singer's vocals sound as though he is pleasuring himself while he sings. Also, knowing Metro station, giving their heart away is probably an innuendo for Chlamydia.

2) Alvin and the Chipmunks - Christmas Don't Be Late

I have never found Alvin the Chipmunks to be either cute, or adorable. People often ask me why as they’re supposedly lovable – but what some find lovable, others find utterly repulsive and disgusting - just look at Ronnie Wood. That assessment doesn’t even include the fact that I find them incredibly annoying: they're what I imagine it'd be like if Joe Pasquale inhaled Helium and recorded an album. Imagine the same generic Christmas beat looping in the background, while these three buggers squeal along to the 1950’s cheesy animation that looks as though you are watching in drunk-o-vision. As for the lyrics - which frankly, are neigh impossible to understand - it is a song about how much they are looking forward to Christmas, and is full of lame rhymes – such as “Want a plane that loops the loop. Me, I want a hula hoop”. But what the hell do I expect for a Christmas song - fucking Ava Maria? It’s the type of hell that should be reserved only for Gary Glitter.

3) East 17 – Stay Another Day

East 17's 'Stay Another Day' is one of those interesting songs which seem to plague the modern music scene. This is in so far that it has bugger all actually to do with Christmas, but is deemed as a Christmas song because it got the ‘prestige’ of being No 1 in the chart during the festive period. I’m sorry but you wouldn’t go to a Michael Jackson look-a-like contest dressed as Jack Black, and you wouldn’t expect to win if you did. But I digress, this is East 17’s Christmas effort - and I use the word effort loosely in the same way you would apply the term ‘vampire movie’ to Twilight. At a stretch you could describe the song as a Christmas song: East 17’s heartfelt pleas to the enigmatic individual to stay could be extended to Father Christmas – perhaps they love Christmas that much they want to prolong it? Though that scenario would be overtly creepy considering they use lyrics such as ‘babe’ and ‘Oh, don't leave me alone like this, don’t say it's the final kiss, won’t you stay another day’. In fact scrap that idea. Now I need to go get a lobotomy.

4) New Kids on the Block – I Still Believe in Santa Claus

There are some things you just can’t take the piss out of. Robert Mugabe being one on them – unless you want to start learning to masturbate with your left hand. New Kids on the Block's 'I Still Believe in Santa Claus' is so bad, bad, bad, that I don’t even know where to start (start, start). It would probably be best if I just left the whole thing alone, like the strange man with the knife collection who moves in next door and wants to have you over for dinner. But I’m one to never follow my own advice - which is unfortunate for my ear canals and dignity.

So a song about still believing in Santa Claus when you're officially old enough to be tried as an adult. Considering the group were so young when they formed I was going to be kinder to it…but I did my research and discovered when this song came out most of the members were in their twenties, and decided that I can call them sad bastards after all. At least they were closer to being kids when this was released, unlike now – still called New Kids on the Block despite the fact they are in their forties and old enough to be their own fathers. Clearly the songs lyrics ‘I still believe in Santa Claus, maybe that's just because I'm still a child at heart’ really does apply. The song is one of those sweet spread the magic of Christmas type and, as such, makes me want to uncontrollably vomit like eating at that dodgy take-away near me.

5) Fallout Boy – Yule Shoot Your Eye Out

Yet another entry from yet another whiny fag Rock band. This time it's Fallout Boy. The song title pun is so cringe worthy it makes Horatio Cane’s wit seem inspired. Hell, I’ve seen porn films with better puns in their titles. The opening riff sounds almost like Jingle Bells - if it was played by someone who had just come out of brain surgery and forgotten they how to play guitar. Then it descends into a more ‘rock’ style tune. Or should that be a generic American teenage rock band style tune? The song certainly has more to do with Christmas than East 17’s song, but it’s more of an anti-Christmas song in many respects as it chronicles a break up during the festive period. It's so maudlin and is more depressing than a party at Kurt Cobain’s house attended by just you and him. I actually found the song rather sinister to say the least; the singer ends up sounding like a manipulative and obsessive serial killer type. Just look at these lyrics – ‘The gifts you're receiving from me will be, One awkward silence, And two hopes you cry yourself to sleep staying up, waiting by the phone. And all I want this year is for you to dedicate your last breath to me, before you bury yourself alive’. Christ. I hate Christmas more then the next man, but this song has as much festive cheer as a Christmas card from the Grinch.

6) Jingle Cats – Meowy Christmas (Album)

It may surprise you to know I am an animal lover. I guess hating one’s own species requires you to find solace in another. After listening to this album, however, I wanted to go to my nearest cat shelter with a hammer and a bag of catnip. Yes, I decided to review the full album instead of a particular song purely because I couldn’t decide upon the worst song of the album. If you don’t know what Jingle Cats is then I shall tell you - because you're not fucking remaining happily unaware whilst I’m suffering. Essentially, they're a series of Christmas novelty songs in which cat’s meows have been painstakingly edited so it appears they are singing along to well know Christmas songs. Apparently, Jingle cats are quite the phenomenon and since this 1993 album there have been several other albums and spin-offs - Jingle Dogs. The songs on the album range from 'Silent Night', to 'Auld Lang Syne', to 'Oh Little Town of Bethlehem'. It really is one of those things that have to a be heard to be fully appreciated: I recommend you check out 'Jingle Cats Medley' ('Jingle Bells', 'Hark the Herald', and 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas') for maximum shame. Anyone who bought this and enjoyed it should be placed on some kind of register. The sex offenders’ register would be a start…

7) Nate Dog, Bad A$$, Snoop Dogg - Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto

I find most rap and Hip Hop dire, to tell you the truth, so this is here simply to please fans of the genre; because lets face it, fans of say 50 Cent are more likely to murder me than some bubblegum pop freak. This cover of a James Brown standard starts off with a surprisingly sentimental tune, and not at all something you would expect from a rap featuring Snoop Dogg. Ol' Snopp, after all, is a man whose lyrics are usually dirtier than the wares at a used condom sale. If you watch the video then you will see the exact moment things descend into a sort of Mighty Boosh level of surreal madness: a fucking purple Cadillac flies past the moon. A traditional gangsta rap concomitant with Christmas may sound bizarre, and it is. The lyrics ‘It's 12.30 AM, Christmas Eve I'm out with the gangstas and thieves’ sound perfectly ordinary, and then he goes on to rap ‘Celebratin', postin' up with eggnog [head up up] in my cup’ – I mean what is that? I know even rappers have to drink, but that’s hardly hardcore is it? Snoop Dogg’s parts really are difficult to take seriously, such as these classics: ‘Santa Claus on the ceiling, Jack Frost chillin', Pinch the Grinch for being a holiday villain’ – which is almost so bad that it's good. As well as ‘Now on the first day of Christmas, my homeboy gave to me - A sack of the krazy glue and told me to smoke it up slowly’, now is it just me or does the term homeboy sounds like a term an opponent of gay marriage status would suggest as a proviso?

8) Deadbolt—I’m the One Who Gunned Santa Down

What would you get if you put a mentally deranged John Wayne in a room with a drummer who has Parkinson’s, and a failed guitarist, and told him to rant on while flicking paper at a plugged in bass? Other then one hell of a house party, you would get this piece of insane tripe from Deadbolt. A very simplistic song, in terms of drum beats and guitar/bass riffs, about a man who discovers his girlfriend is having an affair with Santa and the two get into a gunfight which could rival Scarface’s iconic scene. Sounds good, right? Well, the song is basically the singer talking rapidly about fighting Santa and killing him. It is so bizarre you can’t imagine hearing anything stranger – that is until the singer starts doing accents, which include the elves and what sounds like Solid Snake’s sexline voice.

The singer also tries to convey emotion, some of which includes pain, and which is quite literal for the listener. I guarantee it would make even the most emotionally detached serial killer laugh. Obviously, 'I'm the One Who Gunned Santa Down' was done in good humour but that doesn’t excuse it for being so rubbish it belongs on a refuse site. For an example of how this song is like spending a day as Judge Dredd here are some of the lyrics: ‘Santa put on his cloths and, Patted my girl in the butt, He gave her a peck on the cheek. Damn you! Damn you I said! Damn you! You'll never get away with this!’ It makes you wonder what his defence in court would consist of – perhaps singing ‘I Fought the Law’ while line dancing?

9) John Denver - Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)

'Please, Daddy' is the very definition of melancholy. Christmas must be my least favourite event on the calendar, but come on now. Old John Denver - with his depressing song about alcoholism and father issues - only serves to make the whole experience that much more uncomfortable. A song about having to deal with your father’s drunkenness over the festive period is not a Christmas song. Why he couldn’t just sing about snow like everyman and his fucking reindeer, I do not know. Anyone who thinks these are good lyrics – ‘Mumma smiled and looked outside the window, She told me son, you better go upstairs, Then you laughed and hollered Merry Christmas, I turned around and saw my Mumma's tears’, are clearly as cynical as me. If he were alive today I’m positive he would release follow up songs chronicling torment during other events – such as that time at Easter when he was abused by his uncle dressed as an Easter Bunny…

10) Basshunter - Jingle Bells

There were several contenders for the final slot, and then I heard Basshunter’s rendition of the immortal 'Jingle Bells'. Yes, a dance version. Which, of course, begs the question of what kind of freak listens to Jingle Bells and thinks to themselves: ‘I would enjoy this more if it had a better bassline?’ What’s next, make Santa more sexy and modern? Or maybe change the nativity story so it’s set on some chavy council estate to make the tale more accessible? At least Jingle Bells is a traditional Christmas song, which is more then what I can say for the others. I have nothing else to remark about, it’s a dance version of Jingle Bells and I think that speaks volumes without me having to spit all over it like a special child.

This concludes my round up of the ten worst Christmas songs of all time. There are of course many more songs which are so awful you want to burst your own ear drum with a pen, but these are just a few that stood out. Feel free to comment and leave your own, and Merry Xmas from Iron Criterion. There I said it, and now I feel all dirty.