His “Love’s What You Get for Christmas” was a b-side from the dawn of the decade and the rare attempt at writing a new Christmas song that actually succeeded.
Okay, succeeding may be a little strong, but our reasoning is twofold:
1. "Love's What You Get ..." doesn’t really sound like Christmas music. It’s a peppy pop number that leans on the sherbet-hued horns inspired by the previous decade’s pop masters, Burt Bacharach and Herb Alpert. If there’s a jingle bell anywhere in this recording, we can’t hear it. It even recalls the work of Jack Jones.
2. The message seems to be “Love is the best gift of all.” While that’s something every Christmas television special has crammed down our throats for decades, it’s not a bad message.
However, the more cynical listener might think of this tune as sung by a lunkhead boyfriend who was too stoned to remember that Christmas morning has arrived, and upon realizing he has nothing to give to his lady, feeds her this bullshit line about how you can’t gift wrap love. Ugh, yes, but also genius. It’s like a rehearsal for “Dick in a Box.”
No matter. Punch play on this one and the world of snow, holly and chestnut roasting gives way to a faded Polaroid of sunny California where there’s a dessert table featuring Jell-O with fruit cocktail suspended in it.
[courtesy of Tom Smith]
Lord have mercy, perhaps before the big day arrives we'll manage to post another "In Defense of Questionable Christmas Songs." And if you are somehow incapable of scrolling down, here's the previous entry.