The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

Who Needs Mistletoe by Julie Roberts

Written by: Pat King, Special to CC2K

Right. So I can hear what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Who is this Pat King bastard and why is he already reviewing a Christmas album?” Well, there’s a simple answer: I am a bastard. Therefore it’s in my bastard nature to do bastard-type things. So, moving on…

Christmas is coming earlier every year, right? Hell, I work at a supermarket and we’ve had our Christmas isle up since Halloween. So how is it that this blue-eyed handsome man with early onset curmudgeondom is reviewing a Christmas E.P. and we’re not even halfway done with November? Well, I’ll tell ya, I might have a tiny Grinch heart, but it’s got a soft jelly-like core. Which is to say, I just fucking melt when I hear Christmas music.

And this Julie Roberts gal has put out a pretty decent little Christmas album. Who Needs Mistletoe features seven traditional Christmas tunes along with one original. I found the album because it was in the “country” section, and it certainly has a bit of a twang, but I think some songs barely qualify as country. Hell, Roberts’ voice doesn’t even have a lot of twang to it. Really, though, these songs are pretty much what you’d expect out of someone singing “I’ll be Home for Christmas” and “Away in a Manger.” Plain white bread, in other words. Which is fine. Christmas is all about tradition and we can only handle so much messing with the canon. Familiarity is the key here, no?

Anyway, I bought this album mainly because I didn’t have a copy of “O Holy Night” anywhere on my MP3 cloud. Since this is probably definitely my favorite Christmas tune, I decided I should check this version out. Because, like I said, the album was listed as country music and I dig country music so what could go wrong? Well, nothing, per se. It’s just that this version is a little, uh, generic? Passionless? I mean, it’s a hard song to pull off, sure, but you gotta at least try to put some feeling into it. Not that Roberts just phoned the thing in. Like I said, pretty competent version, but nothing to lose myself in. A little passion, that’s what we need in a Christmas song.

Or not. Roberts’ original song, “Who Needs Mistletoe?” is a bit too sexual, at least compared to the tamer traditional songs she’s picked. Don’t get me wrong, I love sex. The weirder, the better. But sometimes you just want to be reminded of a more innocent time, which is hard to do when a sexy voice is singing, “Who needs mistletoe? / I’d rather be under you.” Whoa now, sister, let’s keep the sexy talk to a minimum! There’s kids here. Or are those elves? It’s hard to tell. Maybe I’ve had too much eggnog. Or not enough?

Just playin’. It’s a fun song and the album is definitely worth a listen. Anyone else excited about Christmas? Just a bit?



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