1. “8 Days Of Christmas” by Destiny’s Child
This song and the accompanying video are so ridiculous I don’t even know where to begin! Watching Beyonce and her two back-up dancers prance around in midriff-baring Santa outfits as they pile crap into their shopping cart is consumerism at its most direct and hilarious. But, wait! The lyrics! You can tell this song was made in the early ’00s by the types of gifts they want their boyfriends to get them. Dirty denim jeans, a cropped jacket, and a diamond belly ring? Honey, what you really want for Christmas is a time machine.
2. “Tell Me A Story” by Hilary Duff & Lil’ Romeo
Hilary Duff’s Christmas album is the gift that keeps on giving! The crown jewel of the craptacular collection of holidaze songs is definitely this duet with Lil’ Romeo though. Over a beat that could’ve been made on a Casio keyboard, Hilary Duff strains her voice to whimper the words “Tell me a story…” approximately 10,000 times while Lil’ Romeo spouts off verses like “Is that Santa Claus or is it my Uncle Willy?” Genius!
3. Christina Aguilera’s entire Christmas album
Honestly, Kelly Osbourne describes this album better than I ever could. Go to 2:09 in the video and prepare to LOL.
4. “My Only Wish (This Year)” by Britney Spears
What was up the production values in early ’00s pop songs?! It all sounds like it was recorded in a studio at a mall. Either there or in a chateau in Sweden. Anyway, this song blows for obvious reasons. Has anyone noticed how terrible of a singer Britney Spears actually is? I know we’ve discussed her lip-synching ad nauseam but what’s up with that whole nasal sex kitten thing? She sounds like she’s singing while opening her mouth at the dentist. Gross.
5. “Grown-Up Christmas List” by Monica
This song (and some others I’ve mentioned) all appeared on this compilation of holiday music called Platinum Christmas, which I used to play obsessively when I was in middle school. Monica’s syrupy R & B rendition isn’t even the worst song on the record but it’s still worth noting. I’m also just obsessed with this idea of having a grown-up Christmas list. Like what would be a good item to put on it? Whips, chains and being exempt from paying taxes for a year? All I asked for this year was a 95 dollar candle and an exfoliating mask. That’s not really grown-up so much as it’s sad and pathetic though.
6. “Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber
Is Justin Bieber referring to his girlfriend as “shorty” in this song? God, I hope so. Look, I don’t mean to crap on the teen dream that is Justin Bieber. Like everyone else, I saw the critically-acclaimed propaganda film, Never Say Never, and left the theatre feeling hypnotized and in love. I even downloaded “Somebody To Love” off iTunes because Gorilla Versus Bear didn’t have it, but I draw the line at listening to his Christmas music. I can’t, I won’t, I don’t. Sorry Biebs.
Yom might be wondering now, “Okay, Ryan. What Christmas music DO you recommend?” Well, I’ll tell you.
1. “Baby It’s Cold Outside” by Zooey Deschanel & Leon Redbone
I’m not the hugest fan of the gluten-free cupcake that is Zooey Deschanel but this cover is too precious to resist. Her honey vocals rested against the deepness of Leon Redbone’s serves as a delightful contrast and gets me in the X-mas spirit.
2. A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector
Every time Phil Spector brings his signature Wall Of Sound to Christmas songs, a battered and terrified angel gets its wings. But really, this is honestly the only Christmas album you’ll ever need. The songs are rich in nostalgia and cheery without ever becoming cheesy. It makes you feel like you’re at the beach in December with Darlene Love and there are mermaids swimming around and fake snow being delivered via a helicopter. (Fake snow that’s cocaine obviously. It’s going to be a White Christmas this year, y’all!)
3. “Santa Baby” by Madonna
Remember when Madonna tried to be Marilyn Monroe and everyone was like, “Please stop!”? This song is a vestige from that dark era but it actually still holds up pretty well. I mostly just like this idea of Madonna trying to sleep with a pot-bellied old dude with presents because she would. I mean, she practically orgasms in the song. Ew.
4. “Come On Santa” by The Raveonettes
I’m usually #NotClearOn indie bands doing Christmas music. For me, it needs to be either totally traditional or sung by a pop star, but The Raveonettes managed to create some solid holiday music. I think it’s because their sound is so reminiscent of that Phil Spector era, which I think is a perfect match for Christmas music.
5. “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey
I saved the best for last. Let’s face it, has there been a contemporary Christmas song that has ever been good as Mariah’s? Every song on this list wishes they could measure up to this ditty but they can’t. Only this song can be *this* song, okay? It was brought to us by the Christmas music gods for the sake of mocking every attempt made after it. It’s…perfection.