New Christmas Songs Of 2019: Our Verdict

Will these festive tunes by Little Mix, Mabel, Robbie Williams and the Jonas Brothers be making your Christmas playlist?

We get it, putting together your festive playlist is a sacred task, and certainly not an easy one, particularly as every year new artists release new tunes in the hope they can follow in the footsteps of Mariah Carey, The Pogues and Slade in releasing a Christmas song guaranteed to be wheeled out every December.

To help you out, we’ve looked over at the new Christmas tunes released by some of our favourite artists in 2019, including new music from Robbie Williams, Liam Payne, Kacey Musgrave and... erm... Peppa Pig.

This is what we found out...

Little Mix - One I’ve Been Missing

After eight years (and one jingle bell-heavy remix), Little Mix have finally given fans what they really want this Christmas, gifting them with their first ever original festive track, One I’ve Been Missing.

Following in the footsteps of All I Want For Christmas Is You and Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), the track sees the girls singing about dreaming of being with the one you love at Christmas time, while musically it stays in their comfort zone, calling back to 1960s girl groups like a number of their hits.

As Christmas songs go, One I’ve Been Missing is inoffensive, if not a little by-the-numbers, but it’s pleasant enough overall, particularly if you’re already a fan of Little Mix and/or Christmas music.

Our rating: 🎄🎄🎄

Sample lyric: “I’ve been gone so long, but I kept holding on, ’cause I need to show you just how much I love you this Christmas.”

John Legend and Kelly Clarkson - Baby It’s Cold Outside

We’ve tried to avoid including covers on our list of the year’s new festive tune, but made an exception for John Legend and Kelly Clarkson’s much-discussed new version of Baby It’s Cold Outside, since they’ve famously overhauled most of the song’s original lyrics.

Most of us had an opinion about before actually hearing it, but the pair’s reinvention of the song proves to be everything people had either hoped or feared it would be (depending on their viewpoint) – and even more.

And while John and Kelly ditched lines that don’t hold up under a modern lens, replacing them with lyrics emphasising consent and respecting a romantic interest’s choices, what we weren’t anticipating would be that there is a glimmer of silliness scattered throughout (“your driver’s name is Murray” being one such example). Therefore, the song isn’t quite the joyless lecture that the likes of Piers Morgan would have you believe.

Our rating: 🎄🎄🎄🎄

Sample lyric:My mom will start to worry/I’ll call the car and tell him to hurry/My daddy will be pacing the floor/Wait, what are you still livin’ home for?”

Mabel - Loneliest Time Of Year

We don’t know who gave Mabel a lump of coal in her stocking last December, but the woman who spent the entire of 2019 serving bops like Don’t Call Me Up, Mad Love and Tiësto collab God Is A Dancer’s mood has taken a considerable nosedive as the festive season rolls around.

While artists have always served up ballads around Christmas time (starting with Bing Crosby in the 1940s right up to the likes of East 17 and the Spice Girls), none have painted quite as bleak a picture as Mabel’s Loneliest Time Of Year.

That’s definitely not a criticism, though, and we applaud Mabel for trying something different with her festive output, particularly since Christmas is a time so many people find difficult. We’d probably swerve this one if you were already having a Blue Christmas, though, unless you fancy sobbing into your eggnog.

Our rating: 🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄

Sample lyric: Sorry I’m not so merry, but I feel like this yearly, Christmas time isn’t my vibe, brings no joy into my life.”

Liam Payne - All I Want (For Christmas)

Meanwhile, it sounds like poor old Liam Payne isn’t having the most cheerful time in the lead-up to Christmas either.

His new piano ballad All I Want (For Christmas) is a far cry from R&B-inspired tracks he’s put out since leaving One Direction. Instead, the star lets his voice do the talking, as he sings about a relationship that sounds like it’s just clinging on as he and his partner approach Christmas.

The verses are a little bit Christmas-by-the-numbers (“tell me, where did we go wrong? We should be singing Christmas songs,” Liam sings on the track’s opening verse), but overall the song’s chorus is a memorable one, more similar to musical theatre than the likes of Strip That Down and Bedroom Floor.

And to whoever it was who thought to have the song abruptly end, suggesting the couple in question may not have “made it through December” after all – we doff our Santa hat to you.

Our rating: 🎄🎄🎄🎄

Sample lyric: “We keep fighting in the street, when we should be home wrapped in the sheets, putting presents underneath the tree.

Robbie Williams and Tyson Fury - Bad Sharon

Bad Sharon is very much business as usual for Robbie Williams, on what is the most talked-about track of his new festive album The Christmas Present. An ode to getting “off your face” around the Christmas period, Robbie’s vocals are on fine form, but what we hadn’t expected was that Tyson Fury (yep!) would more than hold his own.

And while the song calls back to traditional British Christmas tunes from the likes of Shakin’ Stevens and Wizzard, the lyrics are quintessential Robbie, although it’s hard to know exactly how the singer really feels about this time of year, as seemingly sincere lyrics are nestled alongside more cynical lines like “love your friends, spend spend spend” and “as long as there’s beer, the real festive cheer, the money disappears”.

We’re not sure how much of a classic Bad Sharon will end up becoming, but it will at least be a new favourite for those whose Christmas go-tos are Proper Crimbo and The Darkness’ Don’t Let The Bells End.

Our rating: 🎄🎄🎄

Sample lyric: “Come on you sad sacks, you’re not gonna win the human race, put on your glad rags, go get off your fa-a-a-a-a-aaaace...”

Kamille and Next Town Down - Santa x4

“Christmas songs” and “cool” aren’t exactly natural bed-fellows, so we have to hand it to singer/songwriter Kamille for giving it her best crack with the R&B-infused festive duet Santa x4.

As we’ve already mentioned, singing about getting someone you’re missing most at Christmas is a tried and tested formula, but Kamille and boyband Next Town Down put their own spin on it with the imaginatively-titled Santa x4, which sounds like a cross between Boyz II Men’s classic Christmas music and an homage to 1990s garage.

And while it doesn’t exactly slap you around the face with its festivities, this means it’s a good one to press play on if you’re in the mood for some new Christmas tunes, but the usual suspects being played on the radio around the clock in December make your toes curl.

Our rating: 🎄🎄🎄🎄

Sample lyric: “Yeah I tried watching movies so I can get in the zone , Home Alone ain’t even funny when you are alone at home.”

Jonas Brothers - Like It’s Christmas

And then at the other end of the scale we have the Jonas Brothers’ new Christmas tune Like It’s Christmas, a song totally unapologetic and almost boastful in its cheesiness.

Like It’s Christmas is a good one for playing “Christmas music” bingo, from its opening bars of plucked double bass to the hand claps scattered throughout and cliché lyrics about being “the first thing on your wishlist (right up at the top)” and sax-heavy instrumental. Basically, if you were to take a sip of snowball every time they shoehorned a Christmassy trope in there, you’d have finished the whole thing by the mid-way point.

But while it’d be easy to pick this song apart… why would you want to? It’s the Jonas Brothers and it’s Christmas, and we’re pleased to say they completely nailed the brief. Like It’s Christmas is definitely not re-inventing the wheel (or whatever the Christmas equivalent of that metaphor would be, please get in touch with any suggestions), but it’s still a lovely song all the same.

Our rating: 🎄🎄🎄

Sample lyric: The snow on the ground, the love in the air, the sleigh bells are ringing, this is what it’s all about”

Idina Menzel and Ariana Grande - A Hand For Mrs Claus

At this stage, pretty much every angle a Christmas song could possibly explore has been totally exhausted, so we have nothing but praise for Idina Menzel and Ariana Grande, whose new festive duet pays homage to an oft-forgotten Yuletide hero.

On their track A Hand For Mrs Claus – a high-energy swing-inspired song that sounds like it was lifted straight from Lady Gaga’s Cheek To Cheek album – the duo pay tribute to Santa’s “marvellous missus”, whose contributions to the whole Christmas gig they clearly feel haven’t been recognised enough.

It’s a lot of fun with a girl power message, and it goes without saying that both award-winning singers’ voices are on top form.

Our rating: 🎄🎄🎄🎄

Sample lyric:She reads every Christmas letter, fills out a Christmas sweater, better than old Santa any day. She runs the operation with no appreciation, send a little Christmas love her way.”

Kacey Musgraves and Troye Sivan - Glittery

The last year has seen the country superstar touring all over the US, causing a stir at the Met Gala, scooping two major awards at the CMAs (where she also performed with country legend Willie Nelson) and, oh yeah, taking home the coveted Album Of The Year award at the Grammys, so it’s fitting that 2019 should end with a Kacey Musgraves Christmas special.

Alongside covers of festive standards with James Corden, Camila Cabello and Lana Del Rey (!!!), Amazon Prime’s The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show also includes a brand new duet with Troye Sivan, titled Glittery.

Anyone who enjoyed both Kacey and Troye’s latest album will know how good both singers are at putting the little – but important – things into words, and their Christmassy love song, Glittery, plays to both of their strengths. Glittery is an understated ballad, but its simple-yet-sweet lyrics still manage to get you right in the feels.

Our rating: 🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄

Sample lyric: “Every single kiss is like a gift to me and I love the way you decorate my heart.”

Kelly Rowland - Love You More At Christmas Time

She already gave us a few festive tunes as a member of Destiny’s Child (who could forget the immortal line “you know Christmas was made for the chi’ren… Destiny’s Chi’ren?”), but Kelly Rowland is clearly feeling especially festive this year, with new film Merry Liddle Christmas and her new song, Love You More At Christmas Time.

And although we’d probably have prepared a stompy Yuletide floor-filler more reminiscent of her solo work with David Guetta (or better yet, the criminally-underrated Down For Whatever), her new Christmas tune sees Kelly leaning into the sound she’s probably best associated with internationally.

Love You More At Christmas Time ticks all the boxes you’d probably expect, but the best thing about is definitely Kelly’s undeniable vocals.

Our rating: 🎄🎄🎄

Sample lyric: There’s magic round the world at night, my heart melts more with every smile, naby, honey, sugar, you know I love you even more at Christmas time”

Peppa Pig - Bing Bong Christmas

Something weird happened in 2019, when Peppa Pig didn’t just release an album, but one that became embraced by “stan Twitter”, who hailed the children’s TV character as some class of porcine pop queen.

It makes sense, then, that Peppa would round off her year with a Christmas single.

Um… we don’t know what to say about Bing Bong Christmas, to be honest with you. It’s sung by Peppa Pig. There’s a children’s choir on it. And she spends the whole thing really wanting it to snow (which, to be fair, is actually pretty relatable. We won’t spoil the ending for you, but there may or may not be a weather-related Christmas miracle at the end).

If you’re the sort of person who spent a lot of the year campaigning for Peppa Pig to top the UK charts, then this is probably going to revitalise your love of one of 2019’s most unexpected memes. If not… it definitely isn’t.

Our rating: 🎄🎄🎄

Sample lyric: “It’s Christmas Day, ho ho ho, but we wish that it would snow.”


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