The holidays have never really been Idina Menzel’s favorite time of year.

Idina Menzel

During an intimate concert for iHeartRadio Live in New York last Thursday, the Tony Award-winner and voice of Elsa in Disney’s juggernaut Frozen recalled how, when she was fifteen, she learned on Thanksgiving morning that her parents were getting a divorce. She remembered the turkey getting thrown in the garbage, the potatoes being tossed down the drain, and canceling on all the guests who were supposed to enjoy all that food. Moving forward, she’d have to split holidays between her mother’s and father’s homes, making the holidays a more stressful than festive time of year.

Idina Menzel

So when it came time to curate the track listing for her Christmas album, Holiday Wishes (released on October 14 by Warner Bros. Records), Menzel originally chose a series of depressing songs to encapsulate a feeling of loss during the holiday season. She joked to the audience that the record she first submitted to her label could have been titled A Slit Your Wrists Christmas. This was just one of the many times that she kidded with the iHeartRadio crew by suggesting that they edit out what she just said for the broadcast of the concert online later that evening.

But the final version of Holiday Wishes is far less morbid that Menzel had originally imagined. After she received pressure from Warner Bros. to include some more uplifting material on the album, the Broadway legend turned to her five-year-old son Walker for inspiration. Through him, she has been able to “rewrite what the holiday season means” to her, and found a sudden passion and desire to share that rejuvenated excitement through her record.

It was that newly rediscovered affection for the holidays that was on full display during Menzel’s concert. “Merry Christmas! Happy Halloween! Let’s get started,” she said when she stepped out onto the stage. “Happy Thanksgiving! Happy holidays,” she chuckled, acknowledging that perhaps not everybody was quite ready to get into the holiday spirit quite so early yet. But over the course of the next hour, she more than overcame any resistance from the skeptics in attendance.

She opened the show with the classic “Do You Hear What I Hear,” a song she’s been inspired to sing ever since hearing Whitney Houston’s version of it. The mezzo-soprano wasted no time belting at full-force, highlighting the stellar talent that explains why there’s a giant billboard in the middle of Times Square that describes her as “Broadway’s biggest star.”

While introducing “Have A Holly Jolly Christmas,” Menzel told a humorous story about how her son was supposed to sing with her on the track, similarly to how Harry Connick Jr. featured his daughter on his holiday album. She recounted recording the album during the hot summer weather and trying to convince Walker to get into a Christmas frame of mind in the studio. Originally, he was supposed to do a spoken word intro where he tells his mommy what he wants under the tree that year. Instead, Walker couldn’t get into it and the most he would do was sing “have a holly jolly butt-butt,” no matter what toys she bribed him with. As a result, Menzel tried to speak in Walker’s voice during the opening of the song, showcasing more of the hilarious sparring she did with the audience that was a big part of what made the evening so enjoyable.

Idina Menzel

Menzel’s setlist included a series of holiday classics, including a booming rendition of “White Christmas,” a beautiful take on “Silent Night,” a stunningly serene cover of Joni Mitchell’s “River,” and a unique and jazzy interpretation of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” But perhaps the most interesting of all of the songs she performed was “December Prayer,” an original song that she penned for Holiday Wishes.

“I wrote this song so that everyone would have a song during this time of year,” Menzel said before performing the hope-filled ballad, clearly channeling some of that sense of loss she previously discussed.

“Hear the song within the silence, see the beauty when there’s nothing there. Sing a song within the silence that hope and love are everywhere,” she gorgeously sang. “And when the quiet night is falling, watch an angel dancing in the air, to the song, the song within the silence, a December Prayer.”

As poignant as it was lovely, “December Prayer” showed off Menzel’s talent as a fully-rounded musician, further demonstrating why the crossover Broadway star has achieved so much mainstream success following the release of the seminal Frozen track, “Let It Go.”

Of course, no Menzel concert would be a complete without a show-stopping rendition of that song, and the songstress delivered with the same power that would help it win the Academy Award. This time around, she performed an acoustic version of “Let It Go” featuring two back-up vocalists, who added impressive harmonies to the gargantuan hit. Before beginning the song, she thanked iHeartRadio for including her in their special concert series and laughed at the fact that prior to “Let It Go,” she was never even featured on the radio. Today, the song has made Menzel the only Tony Award-winning actress to ever crack the Billboard Top 10.

Idina Menzel

With Holiday Wishes, Idina Menzel has solidified herself as a contemporary musical powerhouse. Between promoting the album (with numerous upcoming appearances including Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade), preparing for her just-announced world tour, and performing eight times a week in the Broadway hit If/Then, she’s one of the busiest and most versatile artists around.

And with Holiday Wishes having just debuted at #1 on the Billboard Holiday Albums chart, it’s a safe bet that Menzel’s reservations about this time of year have now melted away faster than Elsa’s ice kingdom.

Idina Menzel | Holiday Wishes


Originally published on PopBytes


kellywrappedinred_zps322aae99There are two types of people in this world: those who love Kelly Clarkson and those who haven’t been blessed enough to see her light yet.

But thanks to the release of Clarkson’s first Christmas album, the number of unfortunate souls in the latter category is about to shrink rapidly. Hitting stores on Tuesday, Wrapped In Red is that rare record that you know is an instant classic before your first listen is even over.

“I’ve been dying to make a Christmas album,” Clarkson told Billboard for the magazine’s current cover story. “The thing about Christmas is that it almost doesn’t matter what mood you’re in or what kind of a year you’ve had—it’s a fresh start. I’m going to clear the air and take stock of the good that’s happened.”

That feel-good sentiment dominates Clarkson’s sixth studio album. Wrapped In Red also perfectly celebrates the artistic versatility that has made Clarkson one of today’s greatest pop stars. The record finds Clarkson belting out her signature pop/rock sound while also highlighting her country and musical theater talents. Then, of course, there are her unstoppable takes on American standards – something that lent itself heavily to her winning the inaugural season of American Idol eleven years ago.

A collection of brand new songs (all co-written by Clarkson), a breathtaking contemporary cover and an array of gorgeous renditions of Christmas classics, Wrapped In Red has all the makings to be an evergreen holiday season essential. And if your inner Grinch needs a little more convincing, you can tune into Clarkson’s upcoming Christmas special on NBC this December to melt your icy heart. Titled “Kelly Clarkson’s (Cautionary) Christmas Tale,” this one-night (but forever on my DVR) event will feature the singer performing selections from the new album, and will tell a full narrative story—while simultaneously continuing to demonstrate why Clarkson is the gift that keeps on giving.

Wrapped In Red reunites Clarkson with songwriter and producer Greg Kurstin, the man behind some of the singer’s finest tracks on her album, Stronger, and recent single, “People Like Us,” from Greatest Hits – Chapter One. In addition to producing the entire record, Kurstin also co-wrote its lead single, “Underneath the Tree.”

One of the album’s five original offerings, “Underneath The Tree” is that type of smash that comes around once every 10-15 years and immediately becomes a timeless holiday anthem. Not since Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” has a new Christmas song been so explosive, unforgettably catchy and radio-friendly. The sugary, up-tempo track not only guarantees Wrapped In Red’s addition into the holiday album hall of fame, but will also keep the paychecks coming to Clarkson year round for decades to come. I mean, those infectious vocals mixed with sleigh bells, a soaring chorus and a saxophone solo?! You couldn’t go wrong with that formula if you tried.

But while “Underneath The Tree” may be the album’s golden ticket, the other four original songs don’t exactly pale in comparison. “4 Carats” is a cheeky “Material Girl”-esque jewelry wish list that Tiffany’s would be remiss to not use in their next holiday ad campaign. Clarkson’s lyrics are seldom this playful, and the song’s glittery chorus is sure to imprint itself into your shower setlist. “Every Christmas,” a bluesy throwback to the big band era, goes down like a full-bodied glass of red wine by the fireplace. The album’s title and opening track is an adorable ode to new love, and smoothly sets the warm and festive tone for the remainder of the record. And “Winter Dreams (Brandon’s Song),” featuring a 50-piece orchestra and written for Clarkson’s new husband (as of last weekend! Mazel tov!), serves as that fuzzy, romantic fairytale ending to the tumultuous love life that the singer’s been writing about for the past ten years.

Another standout from Wrapped In Red is “Just For Now,” a stunning rendition of a track from Imogen Heap’s immaculate 2005 album, Speak For Yourself. In typical Clarkson fashion, the songstress makes the song completely her own, and the result is the most somber and hauntingly beautiful track on the album. While the lyrics, “it’s that time of year,” are the only blatant qualifying markers for the song’s inclusion on a Christmas record, Clarkson’s equally vulnerable and powerful vocal delivery make it clear that to her, the song is about putting aside differences with loved ones in the spirit of the holidays.

Through her brassy twist on the showtune classic, “My Favorite Things,” Clarkson channels the inner jazz house sensation that she’s previously exposed on tracks like “Walking After Midnight” and “Lies” (from her flawless The Smoackstack Sessions EPs, which I reviewed here and here). This unique and masterful take on the Rogers & Hammerstein staple is sure to give fellow Idol Carrie Underwood a run for her money when she tackles the song in her upcoming starring role in NBC’s live Sound of Music telecast. It also serves as a nice preview of Clarkson’s rumored 2014 Broadway album.

With the exception of two tracks, Wrapped In Red is a largely secular release. The only exceptions come in the form of the chilling, almost mystical “Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel,” and the country-tinged rendition of “Silent Night,” featuring mother-in-law Reba McEntire and Trisha Yearwood.

As far as the classics go, Clarkson takes a fairly conventional approach. There’s of course some of her signature flair sprinkled into places—like a deliciously unexpected octave leap in “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”—but for the most part, the songstress knows that people like to sing along to these songs the way they know them. That being said, I dare you to try to find a more gorgeous version of “White Christmas” or a toastier take on “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.”

In fact, certain songs sound so authentic and timeless that it wouldn’t be difficult to believe that they were recorded back in the 1950’s and ‘60s alongside their original counterparts. Clarkson’s rendition of the immortal “Blue Christmas,” for example, breathes new life into the country holiday essential, while her energetic spin on Chuck Berry’s “Run Rudolph Run” effortlessly shows off just how rock-and-roll the singer can be.

Meanwhile, “Please Come Home For Christmas (Bells Will Be Ringing)” feels like you’re watching the heart-tugging climax of your favorite holiday movie. And even though Clarkson’s inevitably angelic vocals make for a nice distraction, the Ronnie Dunn-duet, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” unfortunately remains as date-rapey and uncomfortable as ever…so it, too, is just like you remember it!

While Christmas may still be two months and two other major holidays away, it’s not difficult to be instantly transported into the mistletoe mindset with Clarkson’s new seasonal masterpiece. What else will you find under your tree this year? The answer: it doesn’t matter. With the release of Wrapped In Red, Clarkson has bestowed the greatest possible gift upon all of us.

Wrapped In Red is available for pre-order from iTunes and Kelly Clarkson’s official web store.

kelly-clarkson-2Originally published on PopBytes


IMG_1027Even a broken rib can’t stop Mariah Carey from making a grand entrance.

Emerging through a hidden platform, the 43-year-old diva took to the stage in Central Park’s Great Lawn this past Saturday to sing with The New York Philharmonic for the 2013 MLB All-Star Charity Concert benefiting Hurricane Sandy relief.

Wearing a bedazzled white dress and matching glittery arm sling, Carey performed for the first time since dislocating her shoulder, breaking her rib, and suffering numerous bruises while shooting a music video for a hip-hop remix of current single, “#Beautiful” just a few days prior.

“I am filming this for myself so that I can remember this moment,” Carey said to the roughly 10,000-person crowd watching her as a team of assistants wrapped her sling in white fur. “Is this working? Do we like it? Is it too much fullness? I’m doing the best with what I got. Seriously.”

Mariah Carey

And given her injuries, Carey truly brought it. Launching her 4-song setlist with her timeless ballad, “My All,” the pop star didn’t let the fact that she was struggling with physical pain prevent her from singing her heart out as best she could.

“This song requires some strength, but I’m gonna give it my all,” Carey stated before going into “Looking In,” an incredibly personal track from her 1995 album, Daydream, that she’s never performed live before.

“She smiles through a thousand tears, and harbors adolescent fears,” Carey sang about the perceived notion that success equals happiness. “She dreams of all that she can never be, she wades in insecurity, and hides herself inside of me.”

Whether it was because of the vulnerable lyrical content of “Looking In” or just the physical pain she was enduring, Carey briefly lost her composure during her performance. “I kind of thought I would not get through that one,” the singer candidly admitted when the song had finished, offering her apologies to the audience. It was a genuinely tender moment that continued to prove that the Major League athletes in attendance weren’t the only all-stars present at the event.

When Carey returned to the stage roughly 45 minutes and one intermission later, she kicked off her last pair of songs with “#Beautiful,” the lead single off her fourteenth studio album, The Art of Letting Go (set for release later this year). Her duet partner on the track, Miguel, was unavailable to appear at the concert, but Carey was joined by another special guest: fellow American Idol judge Randy Jackson on guitar.

This time around, Carey donned a black dress accentuated by a feathered sling that looked like it was stolen from the dressing room of one of the Skeksis on the set of The Dark Crystal. Nonetheless, Carey both looked and sounded phenomenal, and in doing so reminded her audience why she’s the best-selling female artist of all time.

IMG_1047For the evening’s biggest showstopper, Carey brought out a choir to assist her in singing her massive hit, “Hero.” Fittingly, she dedicated the inspirational song to all of the men and women who donated their time and efforts to Sandy relief following last year’s tragic super-storm. She also made the point that all of us have the potential to be a hero.

In addition to Carey’s performances, the concert consisted of an extensive and gorgeous array of songs played by The New York Philharmonic. Highlights included the Gershwin staple, “Strike Up The Band,” “Fanfare for the Common Mon,” and the classics, “New York, New York” and “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” Former Yankees coach and baseball legend Joe Torre also narrated a rousing rendition of the beloved poem, “Casey at the Bat,” set to the music of composer Steven Reineke.

“Music might be my main game, but I love baseball, and it’s always exciting when the All-Star Game is hosted in New York,” New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert stated in a press release. “It’s a thrill to be conducting on this special occasion. It is particularly gratifying to be part of this event that will help support those whose lives were affected by Hurricane Sandy; they are our neighbors, and we’re glad we can be there for our community in whatever way we can.”

When it came time for The New York Philharmonic to perform the world premiere of Mark Isham’s “Suite from 42” (from the recent motion picture, 42), the crowd roared with applause for Rachel and Sharon Robinson – the wife and daughter of MLB legend Jackie Robinson – who were present in the audience.

Through the MLB All-Star Charity Concert, Major League Baseball made a generous $1 million donation for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. “It was truly an honor to perform with world renowned NY Philharmonic,” Carey posted to her Instagram and Twitter following the show. “In spite of the pain, I wouldn’t have ever missed this moment. Thanks for helping me get through it and sharing it with me.”

IMG_1026IMG_1028charity_concert_logo_400x500IMG_1021 IMG_1046Originally published on PopBytes
All photos and video taken by Alex Nagorski

That Time Katy Perry Tried To Take Missy Elliott Down With Her


When Jewel released “Intuition” back in 2003, I remember thinking to myself “that’s it. This is the end of pop. Nobody will ever come out with music worse than this.” The joke was of course on me when Katy Perry hit the scene a few years later.

To date, Katy has spawned five #1 singles from her sophomore album, last summer’s “Teenage Dream.” Why? Because America is tone deaf and apparently undergoing a nation-wide labotomy.
Sidenote: The last time an artist had five consecutive #1 singles off of one album was Michael Jackson with his record, “Bad.” The fact that now Katy Perry ties this record makes me wonder: maybe the Rapture is still coming after all?
Truthfully, the lyrics of this song make last Friday night sound pretty terrible. I mean think about how much debt she must be in after it. She maxed her credit card, got her car towed, ripped her dress, will definitely need a few STD tests (she “sings” about sleeping with three different people throughout the song) and probably will need to bail herself out of jail if any cops follow through with that looming arrest warrant.
So what’s Katy’s brilliant solution? “Do it all again.” Oh. Okay. Glad you have the ability to learn from your actions. You’re not an addict or anything.
“My husband, who’s been clean and sober for almost nine years, you know, I — I see him working a program and working on himself every single day,” Katy recently said to ABC News. “And I see how much work it takes to be clean and sober when you have, you know, addiction on your hands.”
Being the supportive and understanding wife that she is, Katy is doing everything in her power to make as much money as possible off of her song promoting binge-drinking. Therefore, the official remix of this moving and inspirational piece of art has just hit iTunes. And speaking of 2003, it features Missy Elliott.
I’ve been a Missy Elliott fan since the glory days of popping my booty on the middle school dancefloor to “One Minute Man” and “Gossip Folks” (I had a lot of friends back then). News of her alleged comeback genuinely excited me.
But when I heard that Missy would be returning to the scene via an appearance on a remix to a Katy Perry song, it became clear to me that her management team has still not learned how to say “no” (like, c’mon – did ANYONE really think that “Car Wash” would do well?).

The same way that Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jaggar” did not know how to properly feature Christina Aguilera, the remix for “Last Friday Night” does not nearly utilize Missy enough. She only appears briefly to spit some opening rhymes and returns for a hot second on the song’s bridge. But maybe that’s actually a blessing in disguise considering production auto-tuned her to death until all that was left was a Ke$ha-esque robot in the shell of where a hip hop icon once stood.

It’s almost as though throwing Missy Elliott onto this song is a cruel joke. Why tarnish her reputation like that? It’s not like Da Brat was too busy to put down the box of Entemann’s and knock out a verse in the studio.
Lyrically, the song’s content feels very juvenile for Missy to be attaching herself to. Its thesis is basically that if you’re famous, it’s okay to break the law because you won’t actually get into trouble and why bother wasting your brain cells on memories when there’s the internet to remind you how much fun you had?
“It’s a Friday night now here we go/ I ain’t no stripper but I work the pole/ Bartender can you pour some more/ And I’m so tipsy coming out the club,” Missy raps as the song begins, adding her own blacked out antics to Katy’s. Call me crazy, but that doesn’t seem like a 40-year-old musician’s choice subject matter.
There is a serious lack of mainstream female hip hop artists right now. Sure Nicki Minaj is guest-featured doing her Sybil impressions on every other person’s songs and Lil’ Kim is releasing mix tapes from prison, but there hasn’t been a woman to really resonate culturally at large in that genre since Missy went on hiatus. The door was literally wide open for her to come back and dominate again.
The fact that Missy is belittling herself to overly auto-tuned rent-a-rapper status is insulting to her legacy. This is after all, the same woman who brought us generational classics like “Get Ur Freak On,” “Work It” and “Lose Control.” Why risk throwing that away just to make some extra coin for chanting “T.G.I.F.” over and over again?

When Mariah Carey discovered hip hop, it was all downhill from there. I believe that it is our civic duty to make sure Missy Elliott’s newfound fascination for contemporary club-pop doesn’t lead her down this same path of self-destruction. Therefore, I believe we would all benefit from thinking of the “Last Friday Night” remix as a cry for help and call to arms. Kill the beast!

Have Yourself A Dirty Little Christmas

So here’s the thing about the holidays: it doesn’t matter what you celebrate, whether it be Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, or the birth of L. Ron Hubbard, they’re all supposed to send out messages of positivity, warmth, family, and love. Now that’s really cute and sentimental and all, but then riddle me this – why have they become so hyper sexualized? What do slutty Santa outfit inspired lingerie that make their way onto the mannequins in the display windows of every Victoria’s Secret from every November through December, have anything to do with the “Christmas spirit”? I don’t think the idea of “giving” refers to amateur lap dances. How does mistletoe promote the birth of Jesus? I guess making out with strangers under a little plant is how Mary got a place in that stable, huh?

Especially sexualized is the holiday music we have all learned to love and play on loop starting the day after Thanksgiving. We sing these carols walking around in the sleeting weather clutching our mittens and chorus books, knocking on people’s doors and invading their personal space by showering them with our own beliefs and holiday “cheer.” Not every Grinch or Scrooge wants to be entranced into a Prozac induced Christmas coma, where their natural goodness and glee about the festive season overshadow the fact that they’re actually bitter, cynical, and alone (side note: did anyone ever realize that this incessant spreading of one’s own personal customs already happened? The Crusades, anyone?).

So let’s start with some of the classics. Dean Martin crooned “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” for years before anyone really knew what the clinical term “date rape” meant (yes, this song was released around the same time as other promiscuity endorsing holiday songs such as “Santa Baby” – which by the way is SO creepy – or the classic sexualized twist on the myth of Santa coming down your chimney with instead your mom being the one going down in “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause”). The song serves as a holiday anthem to the sketchy, persistent man who does not take “no” for an answer. In the track, the female singer spends the entirety of the song trying to leave the male singer’s home – an act that he won’t let her do, whether it be by physically stopping her or playing mental games to trick her to stay. She comes up with a million reasons of why she can’t stay and has to leave, but rather than responding to her concerns, he simply continues to take off her jacket and ensure that she has no way of leaving.

“Say, what’s in this drink?” she asks, as she tastes something funny in the cup she most likely did not watch him pour her. Do you really want to know what that is, sweetheart? That’s a little pill that’s going to make you black out and wake up by the yule log with only your underwear around your ankles as a way of triggering the little memory you have of the night before. “At least I’m going to say that I tried,” she continues to sing, as the drugs start to kick in and she realizes she’s going to be staying overnight. This way when she presses charges, she can truthfully say she said “no.”

On top of that, our chauvinistic male protagonist doesn’t understand rejection, as he asks the age old question: “what’s the sense in hurting my pride?” Well with that argument, how can anyone resist that sultrily delicious eggnog with the crushed, little, dissolving white chunks on the bottom of the glass? This is an actual Christmas carol! It’s literally a song about a woman saying no and a man ignoring that to try to get his way with her, despite her clear refusal. Personally, I know that nothing says “Happy Birthday Jesus” to me like some good, old fashioned, date rape.

Then there’s that new holiday classic that seems to be everyone and their mother’s favorite Christmas song of all time – Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” The song is everywhere – from being on loop at Macy’s to being performed nearly flawlessly by that incredibly talented eleven-year-old girl at the end of Love Actually. While yes, I will admit that the song is ridiculously catchy, and is probably as intelligent of a career choice for Carey as Glitter was not, but has anybody ever actually listened to the actual lyrics?

First of all, the setting of the song is the materialization of Christmas. It has nothing to do with the holiday itself, but rather with the idea of it being an excuse to give and receive gifts amongst the privileged. All you want for Christmas, Mariah? How sweet. You cut back on your list of diva demands this year. People can’t afford food or homes all over the world, but you only want one thing this year, so that makes you a good and charitable person. But wait, what is this material good that you so strongly desire? A human? Oh okay. I get it. By objectifying someone into a gift that can be received on Christmas, it’s like they’re devoid of any humanity and instead are just your playthings and objects. Wow, fuck my Tickle-Me-Elmo, I want a real human doll I can make do whatever I want too! Thanks for the idea, Mimi.

As a heterosexual woman who has just one “thing” she needs, Mariah is using her song as a way of saying that men are objects that can be used however she pleases – something that the lyrics equating a man to a material good don’t even attempt to veil. I’m so glad that you’re using your celebrity status to send such a positive holiday message, Mariah: Who needs inanimate objects as gifts, when you can own one that literally moves and can “hold you tight”? It’s like slavery all over again! I’ll totally trade you my ex-boyfriend for that guy you hooked up with at Rachel’s party last weekend. He wasn’t the one I asked for for Chirstmas anyway, lolz. Gag me.

Then there’s the new wave of “contemporary” Christmas songs. Lady GaGa’s “Christmas Tree,” for instance, is literally about having sex underneath a Christmas tree. “Light me up, put me on top, fa la la la la la, la la la la,” she sings, while you as the listener, can’t help but wonder how all that garland doesn’t somehow get in the way by furling around her, unless of course, she’s celebrating an auto-erotic asphyxiation themed holiday this year – which in hindsight would actually not be that surprising. This theme reoccurs on “Under My Tree,” a track off of NSYNC’s holiday album, except the catch is that that this time, not only is the couple having sex underneath the Christmas tree – but Santa is sitting there watching. That old, bearded pervert! No wonder he’s so jolly. You would be too if you were saving money on porn subscriptions and Viagra prescriptions by watching people who decide to rock around their Christmas tree and offer you their cookies and milk for free.

I’m not saying I agree with the objectification and the severity of the situations in the aforementioned songs, but people need to be aware of what they’re singing about. So next time you knock on someone’s door, instead of singing a little festive ditty, just go all out – deck your halls, jingle your bells, take off your pants and go inside. And always remember to pull out before you come, all ye faithful.