I firmly stand in the camp of waiting until after Thanksgiving to listen to Christmas music. I can only handle so much of it so I have to limit it to a few weeks or I end up wanting to blow my brains out hearing one more version of Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time.
But the morning after Thanksgiving, if I really want to get in the Christmas spirit, the first thing I’m playing is a full start to finish listen of NSYNC’s 1998 Christmas album, Home for Christmas.
I’m thinking about it early this year because Kevin posted this age old debate where All I Want For Christmas Is You put an absolute beating on Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays in the comment section. It’s the truth, Mariah has the best modern day Christmas song of all time. But if we’re talking about a full discography; a collection of modern day Christmas songs that were bops in 1998 and are still going to fuck in 2098, NSYNC runs away with it. The robots are going to jam the fuck out to Home For Christmas.
Having a debate with my wife that I need opinions on..
Better Christmas song:
All I want for Christmas is You: Mariah Carey
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays: *NSYNC pic.twitter.com/NyNMYDNzwk
— Branded_Kmess (@kmess22) November 27, 2019
First of all, the album cover is iconic. The fact that KMess didn’t even use that pic in the Twitter question might have skewed the results.
Something about JC Chasez in a turtleneck that gets me feeling like I just had a nice cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows in front of the fireplace with a cozy throw blanket. As an 11 year old, even Justin Timberlake’s Ramen hair couldn’t have distracted me from JC in a turtleneck front and center of this album. This was probably the last album that came out where Joey Fatone looked kind of hot, and before anyone’s dreams were crushed by realizing Lance was gay. Before Chris got old enough to be forced to cut his signature multicolor braids and pooka shell necklace. Throw JT in a deep V red button up and this puppy sold over 4 million copies.
Starting with its lead single, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays is the last good original Christmas song released. Bieber tried with Mistletoe, but it will never get the people going like MC, HH. That opening piano riff is one of the most recognizable sound bytes in the history of music. The only song on the album Justin and JC had any writing credits on, it’s a lyrical masterpiece.
Bells are ringing
It’s time to scream and shout (scream and shout)
And everybody’s playing ’cause school’s out
And don’t get me started on the music video. The hyper realistic sleigh ride, feeding the homeless, the Gary Coleman cameo…
The most underrated Christmas song on this album, and probably of all time is Under My Tree. Think traditional Christmas, but make it sexy. Less creepy than Baby, It’s Cold Outside or Santa Baby, or I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa (Christmas makes people horny I guess), but as hot as fucking on top of a bunch of pine needles can get. I wish that Santa could be here to see? The only part that goes too far.
I Never Knew The Meaning of Christmas had middle school me standing under the mistletoe crying alone thinking I’d never look in someone’s eyes and learn what Christmas was really about. As a Jew this was hard to comprehend. I thought it was about Jesus being born? Did Christian people see a nativity scene in people’s eyes? I’ll probably never know.
When it came out I probably listened to The First Noel the most times consecutively, just because JC’s voice was as buttery as possible for a Bible story. Plus it’s like every other good NSYNC song…JC first verse, chorus, JT second verse, chorus, JC/JT combo hook, chorus, out.
Then they hit us with an A CAPELLA O Holy Night that makes the Pentatonix look like William Hung. The most inspiring rendition of this song anyone has ever covered. They are hitting sopranos and altos like a mother fucker, and Chris even gets his own note.
Transforming every Christmas classic into a 1998 CD release, Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire made Nat King Cole roll over in his grave that Justin Timberlake just dusted him on that opening verse. Whenever I hear the song now I hear JT in my head, not Nat King Cole.
Just when we thought it was over, NSYNC gave us dimension, variety and a risk. A New Years Eve song!! By a boy band!! Ballsy!! Kiss Me At Midnight was such a thrilling idea at 11 years old. Staying up until midnight on NYE seemed like such a wild unattainable goal. At 31 it’s even more unattainable. The 5-4-3-2-1 countdown drops and I was fucking READY for 1999.
Michael Bublé tried it but came up just short. I’d rather never listen to All I Want For Christmas Is You again than take this album out of my life. Listen below (if you can stomach before Thanksgiving) to the greatest Christmas album of all time. Front to back without skipping a track. A holiday masterpiece.