My friend Marissa just posted this to her Facebook page: "Dear Aretha: I love "Respect" and "Think." I even loved your duet with George Michael. However, your versions of Christmas songs like, "O Tannenbaum" and "O Holy Night" leave me feeling ... well, scared, uninspired and sorta Grinchy. Please don't record anymore Christmas songs."
I could not agree more. There are certain artistes out there that just shouldn't do Christmas music. Here's my little shortlist:
Barry Manilow. Now Barry, it must be said, has given the world some great songs. That fact is undeniable. But to hear him beat the living daylights out of "Jingle Bells" as I was unfortunate enough to the other night is like Chinese Water Torture. He takes the Bing Crosby/Andrews Sisters arrangement and recreates it note for note, even down to the clarinet solo, and then layers his crappy lounge singer-type vocal on top. So the feeling I got was like this: Oh, great, Bing! What the? Who dis? Barry?!?! That idiot!!!
Kenny G. Another talented musician with a talent for reducing good tunes to miserable dirges. Next.
Michael Bloody Bolton. May I refer you to my 'Kenny G' comment.
Pretty much ANY Contemporary Christian artist. I don't even have a comment for this one. More like a dry heave.
Barbra Streisand. Lord preserve us!
Natalie Cole. Your father was a great singer. You are not.
And lastly, if I can make a comment to all the radio stations out there that are now embroiled in playing holiday music 24/7: Be More Selective! Use Good Judgment when selecting records to play! Just because a record is a 'holiday' record does not mean it is a GOOD holiday record. Just because a song is a 'holiday classic' does not mean the performer did a 'classic' rendition of it. Some people just make holiday records simply for a paycheck, I'm convinced. Ugh.