Happy Friday everybody. It's December, which means it's time for Christmas music. Except if you work retail, you've probably been assaulted by jingling bells since right after Halloween.
Anyway, we've fully embraced the yuletide spirit, ironically of course because are skinny jean wearing douchebag hipsters here.
So in honor of the holiday season, every Friday we're going to be decking the blog with the sound of holiday music of the both the awesome and awesomely bad quality because there really isn't a middle ground when it comes to the season. For every Mariah Carey or Phil Spector album, there is a Jessica Simpson or Ali Lohan Christmas.
Join us on our journey through the winter wonderland that is the holiday album section of the music world as nothing says HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS quite like the crass cashing in on a holiday season to help make some quick cash because you're going through a divorce or your last album tanked. The whole thing makes our heart grow three times as big.
Oh teen pop, how we sort of miss you and your golden age at the end of the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s. The current clusterfuck of Nick/Disney/Justin Bieber stars can't hold a candle to the majesty that was the TRL era of teen pop as people like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, and scores of imitators burst from the Mickey Mouse Club and onto the MTV scene with their fresh Noxema faces and their perfect choreography and immobile hair of highly styled origins.
And since these people made no pretensions whatsoever of being artists, at least the beginning, and were basically existing just to bleed the youth of America and their parents dry, of course the record companies would quickly put out holiday albums since these people sang about love, Pepsi and Jesus Christ all with the same amount of passion they could muster through the several layers of Max Martin production who never met a song he couldn't overproduce into genius.
First up, we flashback to 1997 and the Backstreet Boys performing "Christmas Time" at Disney World. Of freaking course.
Oh Lou Pearlman. Before his Transcontinental business collapsed under the weight of Ponzi scheme convictions and accusations of you being a creeping creeper who creeps, you pretty much defined the boy band era with your groups the NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys above.
We'll give you credit that we were evenly divided between the two bands during the height of their mania. NSYNC won at making the dance music and especially when it came to choreography.
But when it comes to just flat-out singing ballads, we'll always say that Backstreet Boys were the winner in that competition. They had killer tunes. And they were completely unafraid to go Freshmen Magazine in order to push a few million albums here and there.
Backstreet Boys - Quit playing games with my heart
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The whole video most definitely deserves a Wendy Williams "HOW YOU DOIN'"
NSYNC also got into the Christmas spirit by putting out their own Christmas album with such cheese-tastic tunes as "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays"
It's like a time capsule of 1998: the ridiculous amount of pointy, hyper styled hair; the ridiculous, just bought from the Gap sweaters paired with an obscenely large amount of cargo pants; a plethora of puffy-as-Joey-Fatone's-face vests; Gary Coleman not being dead while Lance Bass pretends he wants to do something other than take a girl shopping.
It wasn't just a boys game when it came to teen pop tackling Christmas tunes. Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera also threw their hair extensions into the ring.
Britney Spears offered up her usual variety of whispering vocals and vaguely sexual growls, but this time she did this to honor the holiday season in "My Only Wish."
We enjoy this fond period of Britney's career when she at least attempted to sort of sing. She didn't really succeed, but we do give her snaps for the effort.
While Britney was busily under-singing, Christina Aguilera was overcompensating with her melisma-tastic performances on her Christmas album including her single "Christmas Time."
Not a subtle bone in her emaciated body in this video. Speaking of not subtle, yours truly went to a screening of Burlesque Friday with our friend Emily. To say it was a hot mess doesn't quite fully encompass the movie. We've come to the determination that Kristen Bell has given up on actually acting in films, Cher's given all pretense of being able to move her face, Stanley Tucci is quickly becoming the go-to actor to play sassy gay friends, and Cam Gigandet should always wear large eyeliner and small amount of clothing.
But when it comes to teen pop, NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera and even Britney Spears are pretenders to the teen pop Christmas throne. Fall back bitches and make way for the one, the only, the funkiest bit of manufactured pop known as New Kids on the Block's "Funky, Funky Christmas."
And with that, we close this first Friday of Yule Blog. Come back next Friday when we take on the magic of hip hop getting Christmas-izzle on.
Here's a sneak peek with Snoop Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound's heart-warming tune "Santa Claus Coming Straight to the Ghetto."
Have a good weekend and remember to always wear protection when you're jingling somebody's bells.