Pharos-Tribune

Online only

December 19, 2012

Slate's definitive Christmas playlist

(Continued)

According to Slate writer Katie Kilkenny, Michael Bublé's 2011 "I'll Be Home for Christmas" is definitive because of its classic interpretation with only a slight, jazzy update. "The bass guitar, piano and cymbal in the back of the song adds a nice mellow accompaniment to Bublé's always-reliable vocals," she says, "recalling old-fashioned live singers at holiday parties."

And forget Dean Martin's popular turn with "Baby, It's Cold Outside" — Slate writer Jennifer Lai prefers the "flirtatiousness and coquettishness" of Johnny Mercer and Margaret Whiting's 1949 duet. "The singers are obviously teasing each other and having fun with singing," she says, "while Martin's version makes him sound like he's had quite a few too many to drink (and isn't really into his female companion)."

There are plenty of Christmas recordings that take on a hipper vibe than originally intended, and sometimes, we're all the better for them. The Jackson 5's "Up on the Housetop" turns the benign children's song into a funky romp with blaring horns, a list of the toys that each boy desires (Tito wants a new guitar with a guarantee: "That it won't play out of key!"), and an energetic breakdown referencing "'Twas the Night Before Christmas."

Peggy Lee's "Winter Wonderland" takes a swinging, jazzy turn with her signature sultry interpretation that enhances the typically sweet and straightforward vocalization other artists prefer.

Meanwhile, there are those songs that we wouldn't consider classic in their own right, except for one particular cover that reimagines and completely elevates the music. The Ronettes' rendition of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" — a usually grating song — benefits from the girl group's distinctive, playful phrasing and the uptempo "wall of sound" musical accompaniment.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Online only
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should grocery and convenience stores be allowed to sell cold beer?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.