It’s Time to Put Some Respect on Christina Aguilera’s Christmas Album
Ask anyone on planet Earth what their favorite Christmas song is and they’ll probably tell you it’s Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” And why shouldn’t it be? It’s a joyful Christmas-themed song about being in love that has tons of mass appeal and inspires retail giants to play it on repeat every holiday season. I mean, you don’t get a number-one hit 25 years after releasing a song without it being a bop! But there’s another Christmas song people have been sleeping on for far too long now: Christina Aguilera’s “Angels We Have Heard on High.” And yes, much to everyone around me’s dismay, I have taken it upon myself to talk about this song every chance I get, every winter until it gets the respect it deserves! Allow me to explain why. (You’ll thank me later.)
First off, this song is featured on Christina’s 2000 Christmas album, My Kind of Christmas. It’s a quality festive album that includes original music like “Christmas Time,” which sounds distinctly new-millennium, and it also covers of holiday classics like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
The whole album had mixed reviews and one music critic even went so far as to say, “Aguilera oversings so wildly that there wouldn’t have been enough oxygen in the booth to sustain another life form.” Which, uh, is that an insult?? Honestly, that just sounds like a compliment because it implies that she can indeed sing and was just running circles around other musicians with her vocals. Also, yeah, “Angels We Have Heard on High” is probably one of the songs that could fall under that “oversinging” category, but it just makes it THAT more enjoyable to belt out when you’re riding in the car on the way to pick out a Christmas tree. If you were at Christmas karaoke, this is the song you’d want to choose.
Speaking of the vocals, IDK if there’s an actual choir involved in the making of this song or if Christina layered her voice a billion times à la Sam Smith on several of their records, but the bit around the two-minute mark is transcendent.
This is an age-old carol and riff on the “Gloria in excelsis Deo” hymn, but Christina’s take on it doesn’t feel too Sunday School. So even if you’re not religious, you may find yourself swaying along to this song and even getting on bended knee out of sheer respect for this woman’s range.
Unfortunately, it may be too late for this classic remix to be inducted in the “Christmas song canon,” as The New York Times put it, because it just hasn’t caught on after all these years.
But now that you’re aware of the genius that is Christina’s cover, go ahead and add it to every single playlist your friends ask you to contribute to this holiday season. Trust me, everyone will be happily surprised when they hear this underrated throwback thrown in between Mariah’s greatest hits.
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