Mariah Echoes Herself Yet Again With “Oh Santa!”

Posted: October 2, 2010 by RA in Music
Tags: , ,

So, full disclosure: I love Mariah Carey. I think she’s a brilliantly talented vocalist, songwriter, and producer, and that makes up for her bizarre affectations and mannerisms that, frankly, do her no favors.

Also, I’ve pointed out in the past how her fixation on chart dominance makes her forego originality in favor of formula. Some would argue she did it once or twice in the ’90s, but I doubt any will dispute that since her comeback, the Ghost of Singles Past has been stuck in “We Belong Together” mode whenever she called him up for a recording session.

But it looks like he’s gotten over that — at least for this holiday season — and has reached back to her modern classic “All I Want For Christmas is You” as the soundtrack to which he stalks the halls of her recording studio every night.

Alright, I’m dropping that metaphor now.

So, for those eagerly awaiting the follow-up to her 1994 Christmas album, this should hold ’em for another month. I’m actually not being facetious — “Merry Christmas” continues to do some serious business for Carey every year. And “All I Want” is probably the last source of of good will from the general public she has.

While I was never a major fan of the radio single for “All I Want for Christmas is You”, I do enjoy the 2000 remix that sounds like something you’d hear in an Atlanta strip club on Christmas morning.

 All I Want For Christmas Is You(So So Def Remix)

On “Oh Santa!”, Carey may be pulling the energy and cheer from the original. But the attitude is all remix. (If I could actually decipher any of the words, I’d probably be able to confirm her use of the shlocky slang and syntactical abortions she’s gotten so fond of in past years).

Still, I can’t lie, this is some catchy stuff. I’m not big on Christmas, and I’m not big on cheery Christmas records, but somehow, this hits all the right notes.

See, attempting Christmas fare in a contemporary Pop arena is a delecate balancing act. As is often the case whenever a grown man or (more often) woman is forced to treat Santa Claus like an entity no less real than Chuck Norris or the chupacabra, tongue must remain in cheek for the duration of the farce. And just like your cheeks hurt from fake-smiling all night when that almost entirely unfamiliar aunt visits for Christmas dinner, balancing false childlike innocence with knowing, adult longing can get old pretty quickly.

Luckily, Mariah — the drag-queen Mae West of Pop music — has been doing just that for over a decade, so she knows how to refer her all too adult desire to not wake in a cold bed on Christmas morning to the same problem-solver her nieces consult with their Hello Kitty demands. Speaking of children, I hate them on records. Especially laughing/singing/chanting kids. So the choice of age-ambigious voices for the chanting bits was brilliant. In my mind, thesy belong to third-year NYU and FIT undergrads unable to make it back to Nebraska for the holidays. So rather than have the holidays be a complete waste, they’re pulling out their sluttiest Mrs. Klaus outfit for Jingle Booze night at O’Malley’s.

Sigh, maybe I do love the holidays after all.

Oh Santa!

  1. D says:

    You know what’s worse than laughing/singing/chanting kids? Kids that are spelling out shit as they laugh/sing/chant.Hence why, to me, Jahiem is the lowest of all life-forms. (quite tangential, I know)

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