We haven't even made it through Halloween yet, but it's already time to start thinking about Christmas. It's hard to avoid getting caught up in the yuletide season, especially considering a handful of music stars are already knee-deep in Christmas music. The first big holiday-related release of the season debuted a few days back in the form of Train's "Shake Up Christmas," a jaunty singalong that will appear on their upcoming release Save Me, San Francisco: Golden Gate Edition (a deluxe reissue of their 2009 smash Save Me, San Francisco) and will also serve as Coca-Cola's Christmas commercial jingle (welcome back, Coke-drinking polar bears!).
Every year, there is always a bid to get a modern tune into the permanent Christmas canon, which is always a bit of an uphill battle. The Train song is certainly has enough hooks and charm, though does it have enough juice to join the ranks of Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" as one of the best modern holiday tunes around?
In fact, Carey is even making her own bid to add to the holiday season, as she is about to drop her second Christmas album Merry Christmas II You (a spiritual sequel to her 1994 release Merry Christmas). The new album features a re-recorded version of "All I Want For Christmas Is You" (a stone-cold classic we'll get to in a second) as well as a batch of classics and four new songs: "Oh Santa," "Christmas Time Is in the Air Again," "When Christmas Comes" and "One Child." (Based on titles alone, doesn't it seem like "Christmas Time Is in the Air Again" sounds like an instant classic?)
But of course no matter how good Train's "Shake Up Christmas" or Carey's new songs are, nothing will ever be able to touch "All I Want For Christmas Is You." Beginning with some tinkling bells and some dramatic cymbals, "All I Want For Christmas Is You" rides a truly festive, jubilant groove and lets Carey's voice (which was at the height of its power when it was recorded in '94) weave in and out of the delightful melody. Simultaneously forward-thinking and nostalgic, "All I Want For Christmas Is You" could melt even the coldest anti-Christmas heart. In fact, even though it's way too early to listen to it, we dare you to listen to "All I Want For Christmas Is You" and not get swept up in holiday cheer.