I saw three ships come sailing in on Christmas day, on Christmas day. I heard several songs that made me cringe on Christmas Day in the morning. See what I did there? Anyway, it’s that time again! Time to dig up the mistakes of Christmas past and present. It’s time to show the world just how terrible these mistakes sound. These Christmas pop songs are the songs they probably play in hell. Ok, ok, maybe that’s hyperbolic, but it’s safe to say the world would be a much better place if none of these songs were ever recorded. These truly are bad Christmas pop songs.
Sit back and relax, grab a good, stiff drink, and maybe a vomit bag. These bad Christmas pop songs might just cause you to toss your Christmas cookies! But oh, it will be fun to rip apart these songs, so let’s get to it!
Pentatonix – That’s Christmas To Me
I have a love/hate relationship with Pentatonix. Sometimes I love their covers, sometimes I hate them. Regardless, I do believe Pentatonix needs a sixth member. A proper soprano could do wonders for their songs as they wouldn’t have to rely so much on their tenor and mezzo-soprano for those higher notes, but I digress. Or do I?
Let’s get to the point. That’s Christmas To Me needs a hell of a lot more range. The harmonies are tight, but the current members don’t explore their ranges at all. The results are a monotone mess of a song. Moreso, That’s Christmas To Me sounds like it’s sung by a robot choir. I was joking when I said some of these Christmas songs are the ones they play in hell, however, That’s Christmas To Me is the type of song they will play in a dystopian future. Yes, when our robot overlords take over the world, we will hear That’s Christmas To Me sung by a choir of metal men, and yet somehow it will sound better than the way Pentatonix sings it.
Pentatonix needs a couple of soaring vocals in the background. They need a dramatic build! They need to go outside their ranges. And again, they need a freaking soprano. I’m not ripping on any existing members, nor am I saying they should get rid of anyone. But yeah, get a freaking soprano already!
Christina Aguilera – O Holy Night
Christina Aguilera has the opposite problem as Pentatonix. Aguilera has a little too much range. Seriously, she goes up, and then down, and then up again with her notes so much, we can’t even hardly recognize the melody of O Holy Night. Aguilera gives us a roller coaster ride, but not the good kind that causes an adrenaline rush. No, Christina Aguilera’s O Holy Night is that old, rickety roller coaster in the back of the theme park that should be torn down. It’s guaranteed to twist you up and down and back and forth so much, you’ll get whiplash. Remember when I told you to have a vomit bag ready? Yeah…
But wait, there’s more! Just when you think this horrible amusement ride will end, Aguilera comes in with a jazz section of the song. The entire last third of Aguilera’s O Holy Night is a lame attempt by her to scat the lyrics while a generic jazz piano and gospel choir can be heard in the background. All the while, you’re just sitting there yelling “Make it stop! Make it stop! Please, just make it stop!”
Band Aid II: Do They Know It’s Christmas
In 1989, Ethiopia faced another famine, and Bob Geldof got the Band (Aid) back together. Or rather he got a whole new group and created a version of Do They Know It’s Christmas that is truly unforgettable. How Forgettable? I was in Eighth grade when this version came out. I listened to pop radio all the time, and I have absolutely no recollection of this specific version of Do They Know It’s Christmas. Looking at the names, there’s a lot of one-hit wonders and splash in the pan artists. Does anyone else remember D Mob or Wet Wet Wet? Yeah, I didn’t either until I read who sings what on this version of Do They Know It’s Christmas.
To be fair, there’s Kylie Minogue, Cliff Richard, Kathy Dennis (who I had a major crush on back in 1989), and according to some sources Rick Astley. Other than those artists, it’s pretty much a bunch of irrelevant artists doing a version of Do They Know It’s Christmas you won’t remember. Heck, Bono didn’t even show up. The only musicians who appeared on both Band Aid and Band Aid 2 was Bananarama. Heck, they weren’t even invited to the original party, they just kind of crashed.
What a disaster.
Mariah Carrey & Justin Beiber: All I Want For Christmas is You
When we hear the first verse of the new version of All I Want For Christmas is You, we’re pleasantly surprised. Mariah belts out her best vocals, and we’re kind of excited. And then the second verse comes about. All we hear is Justin Bieber. Yeah, you can fill in the blanks on this one. To make matters worse, the robotic-sounding stutters in his vocals clues us into a bad autotuning job.
The third part of the song is a combination of Mariah’s best vocals and Beiber’s autotuned vocals. Honestly, it could be worse. But that second verse? Well, we just have to wonder who thought that would be a good idea. Because it’s not a good idea!
Lady Gaga – Christmas Tree
I respect Lady Gaga. I don’t really like her music, but mostly because her songs are just not my style. Still, I recognize her as an incredibly talented artist. And for whatever reason, she squandered that talent on Christmas Tree. Christmas Tree is an undanceable electronic abomination of a song. Oh. my. God. The music of Christmas Tree sounds like someone’s cat walked across a bunch of synthesizers.
Oh, but the music is only the first part of why Christmas Tree makes you want to do terrible things. The lyrics are just, ugg. Let’s just take a look at some, shall we? “Light me Up, put me On top.” “The only place you’ll want to be is under my Christmas Tree.” “My Christmas Tree’s Delicious.” Need I go on? Well, actually, asides from the ending lyric (Cherry cherry boom boom) and some vocables (falala et al), those are basically the only lyrics. Almost all of these lyrics are repeated over and over (and over) again. So yeah, we get a horrid sounding, repetitive song about getting under Lady Gaga’s skirt.
Pass the Pepto Bismol!
Kelly Clarkson: All I Want For Christmas Is You
No, this is not a cover of Mariah Carrey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You. This is, however, a cover of Vince Vance and The Valiant’s song of the same name. With that said, I want to like this version, I really do, but Clarkson’s version just falls flat on its face. Clarkson slows the song down to a slow jazz tempo. While this tempo might work, it’s got to be paired with the right vocals. And Kelly just doesn’t have the right vocals. In fact, Clarkson’s vocals sound phoned in during the All I Want For Christmas Is You. The results are just a boring, forgettable mess of an already wannabe Christmas standard.
Sorry Kelly, I still love you, but you failed miserably on All I Want For Christmas Is You.
Enough bad Christmas pop already!
I have to admit, this article was fun AF to write. I love ripping apart bad pop music, and bad Christmas music as well. So writing about bad Christmas pop? Hell yeah! But maybe we should focus on Christmas music that’s actually good! Well, I have a lot of that as well. Just head on over to the Holiday Fun! section of this website, and you’ll find all kinds of amazing Christmas music for your enjoyment. What’s that, you want more bad Christmas music? I’ve got you covered with that as well. Check out Part 1 or Part 2 of the Holiday Hall of Shame.
Finally, my friends, I’ve once again failed you. Every year I promise that maybe next year I’ll include a very special version of O Holy Night. You know the one. It sounds like a dying cat, or me singing in the shower. Well, I guess there’s always next year. Until then, enjoy Ken M’s atrocious version of O Holy Night. Happy Holidays everyone!