This is NOT a review on Christmas music. This is a review on the artists who cover Christmas music. A Lot of them are doing this wrong. This is not opinion. It’s FACT. If an artist doesn’t have the skill to make a song their own, they need to follow directions someone else gave them. Anything else is wrong.
Let’s start with the ultimate example of an artist “covering” a Christmas song right. Jingle Bell Rock. In 1957, Bobby Helms put out a version of the classic “Jingle Bells” but in his own tune. From the very first note you know this isn’t “Jingle Bells” – this is Jingle Bell Rock. There is never doubt that he took the “Jingle Bells” song and made it his.
Now, when you are listening to a singer “cover” something like “Silent Night” or “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” you probably can sing along because you know the words. People love singing along. What is wrong with the classic that the last word or the last measure this “artist” will decide to change it. Or they’ll pace it wrong. It’s WRONG.
IF you are set up to be able to sing along with a song and then halfway through they change a little piece it throws you off. You stop. You lose your rhythm and suddenly you are listening to see if and where you can jump back in. Then they do it again. And again you are thrown out of enjoying your activity and you are sort of listening. But you aren’t really listening to THEM – you are listening to catch back into the tune.
Either claim the song and do it so differently people can’t sing along (ie someone who knows “Jingle Bells” can’t sing along with “Jingle Bell Rock” the first time) OR follow directions and sing it the way it was written. If anyone else hit 90% of the song, we would berate them for being a bad cover artist. If you are going to cover it, do it right. If you are going to interpret it – it has to be more than 10%. Preferably more than 30%. Enough that noone is confused.
This halfway shit has to stop. Do it right or follow directions.