It's Christmas and everyone is cashing in. As half-baked singers and fully-faltu musicians jingle their bells for a quick sale with festive albums, Yolande D'mello decides if it's worth a ho ho ho!
In 1984, George Michael made listeners cry on Christmas day. His single Last Christmas reminded us that hearts can be broken even when buntings are up and puddings are being baked. The British-Irish group of musicians, Band Aid, released a song Do They Know It's Christmas? to raise money for the Ethiopian famine relief the same year.
A wax figure of US singer Lady Gaga wearing a dress made from cling
film designed by Adnan Bayatt in a Christmas grotto at Madame Tussauds
in Blackpool, north-west England. pic/AFP PHOTO
Then there are classics like John Lennon's War Is Over, a 1971 protest song about the Vietnam War, that still continues to be re-sung by Celine Dion and Robbie Williams.
But now you have popstars who will spoonfeed you cheesy tunes that would put sugar coated jujups to shame, a la Justin Bieber. And you can never take a day off from Lady Gaga and her antics. Gaga has obviously formed a cartel with the Grinch, and with her single Christmas Tree, she may succeed in making even Santa's reindeers lose their festive cheer. 'Light me up/Put me on top' Gaga sings, as she layers subtle upon not-so-subtle sexual innuendo in her track. 'My Christmas tree is delicious/Ho ho ho under the mistletoe' sings the chorus, which is a whole lot of fa la la la la for no reason.
Justin Bieber Under the Mistletoe is the other new release. While the name itself makes us want to run away from those 17 year-old lips that made hit single Baby, this album is probably making 13 year-olds around the world tremble, as they hang their stockings.
Of the 11 tracks on the album, Silent Night offers some respite from happy fluff that will make you smirk at best. Drummer Boy, featuring American rapper Busta Rhymes is enjoyable as a mesh of rap and pa rum pa pum pum. Bieber's collaboration with Usher for The Christmas Song will have you singing along but his duet with Mariah Carey -- All I Want for Christmas -- is less impressive.
Canadian singer Michael Buble's album is better equipped at bringing that cosy feeling that goes best with plum cake. Familiar Christmas songs are sung with all the jazz that comes with compositions that include trumpets, bass guitars and the occasional saxophone. Not too many women would argue when Buble serenades you with Santa Claus is Coming to Town and tells you to be Good for Goodness Sake.
Don't miss White Christmas as Buble sings with Shania Twain. For Frank Sinatra fans this is a must. But the star on this Christmas pine is Ave Maria. It saunters in with traditional melody and leaves you to reminisce about attending midnight mass, balancing in pointy heels and overdosing on marzipan.