Where do I even begin?
Why was a Christmas album released in early October? Why is Gwen trying to sound country on half the record? Why does this record need to exist?
Regardless of the asinine release date, Gwen put out a Christmas album before Halloween- and, needing a good laugh, I decided to review it.
Let me begin by expressing my innate distaste for Christmas music as a whole: It’s nothing but commercial, sugary garbage that grants the artist easy sales and a guaranteed cash-grab without having to put forth much effort in the process. Alas, it is now Gwen’s turn to reap in the harvest of simple consumerism.
Of the 12 tracks on You Make It Feel Like Christmas, six are original songs from Gwen Stefani.
- “My Gift Is You”
- “When I Was A Little Girl”
- “You Make It Feel Like Christmas”
- “Under the Christmas Lights”
- “Never Kissed Anyone With Blue Eyes Before You”
- “Christmas Eve”
THEY ARE ALL TERRIBLE.
“My Gift Is You” is Shania Twain-esque and is the first of too many songs on You Make It Feel Like Christmas where Stefani is seemingly fawning over Blake Shelton like he was sent down to Earth from heaven in God’s golden chariot.
I have to give it to Stefani however for doing what I considered impossible- producing a track in 2017 worse than Weezer‘s “Feels Like Summer.” That great feat is the song “When I Was A Little Girl.” Whiny, horrifically sung vocals permeate the entire track. The music is somber-ish, eliciting the same effect as a Hallmark Christmas movie when the protagonist is living out the low point of their cheesy existence. The lyrics are just as terrible as the vocals, and creepy as hell.
“When I was a little girl
I wondered who I’d give all my love to
I asked Santa who he’d recommend
It’s hard to believe I was so innocent”
So she thinks the only point of life is to give someone her virginity? Cringe-worthy is putting it mildly, folks.
Blake Shelton appearing on this album was inevitable, and he does so on the country-pop title track “You Make It Feel Like Christmas.” That’s really all the song has going for it, and that’s not much.
“Under the Christmas Lights” is… well, stupid. Every time I listen to it I end up shaking my head and contemplating the future of music as a whole. I will just leave you with some of the captivating lyrics that await you:
“Late night, gotta do the wrapping
Running out of tape
You know how to always get me laughin’
And why you such a babe?“
The vomit-inducing lyricism doesn’t cease there, either. For some reason a song about the life goal of Gwen’s to kiss someone with blue eyes (sigh…what a dreamer) made it onto this album, just spun as a Christmas jingle. As if we needed any more proof You Make It Feel Like Christmas was created solely for the money…
“I never kissed anyone with blue eyes before you
I’m hearing silver bells when your lips do what they do
You’re getting these brown eyes seeing color it’s so true
I never kissed anyone with blue eyes before you
You make everyday feel just like a holiday
You’re the answer to the every night prayer I pray
Now I’ve got you, everything’s feeling brand new
You make everyday feel just like a holiday”
The last original from Stefani is the closing track, “Christmas Eve.” Like the majority of the covers on here (or, the other half of the album) this song is an incredible bore.
It has nothing that would ever make you want to hear it again: no catchy chorus, no great song crafting, no real rhythm… YAWN.
I intentionally left out remarks on the six Christmas covers found on You Make It Feel Like Christmas because they lack any originality and are simply sugary, airy produced Christmas songs that we all have heard a thousand times before -only Stefanified. But they are as follows:
- “Jingle Bells”
- “Let It Snow”
- “Silent Night”
- “Last Christmas” – (How dare anyone cover WHAM!)
- “Santa Baby”
The only exception is “Santa Baby,” which is about the most fitting song Gwen could have chosen to cover, her vocals matching extremely well with the song’s personality.
I guess we can now say Gwen Stefani has done one more thing for the world aside from teaching us all how to spell ‘bananas’, she has given us a song to hear on a future Target Christmas ad with heavy rotation. Seriously, just wait.
Rating: 4/10. ‘Tis the season to rethink holiday albums.
Avid reader. Mushroom hunter. Gamer. Vinyl spinner. BA in Religious Studies.