Welcome back to another Top 40 Review where I look at the 40 most popular songs in the country. It’s December, which means the holidays are here. On a related note, 25 years after its release, Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You is finally the number one song in the country as I’m typing this. I knew it was coming and it was well-deserved. Anyways, let’s get started.
#38. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer-Gene Autry: In more recent years, thanks to streaming, more Christmas songs are showing up on the charts in higher positions. The first song I’m gonna talk about is Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer. Who doesn’t know this one? It’s about one of Santa’s reindeer named Rudolph who has a bright red nose. At first, you’d think that it was a cautionary tale about accepting others for their differences. But then, there’s this.
Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say
"Rudolph, with your nose so bright
Won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"
Then how the reindeer loved him
As they shouted out with glee
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
You'll go down in history"
This parts undercuts the message of the song because all of the other reindeer made fun of Rudolph for his red nose and wouldn’t even let him participate in any of the reindeer games. Then, they do a complete 180 when that same red nose helps Santa navigate through foggy weather. Yeah, this paints them as two-faced assholes. Remember, kids. If you were born different, others will make fun of you until you become useful to them. Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but this botched message is why I couldn’t get into the song fully. I give it a 2/5.
#37. Sleigh Ride-The Ronettes: I’ve talked about the TLC version of Sleigh Ride on my Best Christmas Songs list, now, I’m gonna talk about the Ronettes version. It’s a good song. It has that classic Phil Spector production and the singing is pretty good. Is it one of my favorites? No, but I like it fine enough. I would give it a 4/5.
#36. Falling-Trevor Daniel: Another day, another song that blew up from TikTok. Man, I got nothing from this. Falling is a song about a guy who’s falling in love again after having his heart broken and it’s played as basic as you can come up with. Even more basic is the Auto-Tuned delivery from Trevor Daniel and the production, which goes for that dreary trap sound that a lot of modern pop songs have emulated in the latter half of the decade. This sounds like many other songs like it and it does nothing to make it stand out among the crowd. It’s an easy 2/5 for me.
#35. Adore You-Harry Styles: Next up, we have Harry Styles, who just put out a new album. This is a single from it, Adore You, and it’s pretty good. The production leans heavily into its retro 80s soft rock influence (the good kind) with its guitars and keys. It’s a straightforward love song that isn’t complex, but it works with what it has. If the rest of the album is like this, then I might check it out. I give it a 5/5.
#34. Feliz Navidad-Jose Feliciano: I actually used to like this song, but as time went by, it wore off on me. First off, there’s only four lines in total that are repeated throughout and that’s it. The music sounds like a stereotypical Latin song pulled out of a random mix and I’m not too pumped by Jose Feliciano’s performance. It’s getting a 2/5 for me.
#32. The Christmas Song-Nat King Cole: I named it the second best Christmas song of all time and I have nothing new to say about it, so I’ll copy-and-paste what I said on that list: “We didn’t deserve Nat King Cole. That man has a voice of velvet that can sell you the most boring, mundane products in existence. In 1946, he did a cover to The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You), which was written by Robert Wells and Mel Tormé. The song has an oldies feel in its music, which leans into the orchestral strings and jazzy piano and guitars. The best part of the song is Nat King Cole himself, who’s great. He gives a warm, welcoming vibe to the song like you just got home after a long day at work and just want to relax and spend time with your family. Another great Christmas classic overall.” This song gets a perfect 5/5.
#30. everything i wanted-Billie Eilish: Now for the latest song from Billie Eilish, everything i wanted. It’s about her having a nightmare where she accomplishes everything she ever wanted to accomplish, but it becomes meaningless when she commits suicide and no one in her circle cared. It also shows how strong her relationship is with her brother, who was the one who reassured her that will never happen. As you can tell, the content of the song is a huge downer, which is why it’s not one of my favorites. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still good and I like the production with the minimal piano, muted drums, and bass. It’s honestly a song that I respect more than I like and I would give it a 4/5.
#29. Legends-Juice WRLD: As you’ve probably heard, Juice WRLD passed away over a week ago. It’s unfortunate for his family, friends, and fans. I’ve said all that I needed to say about the guy. I see the appeal, especially his connection to younger listeners, but a lot of his music to me suffers from poor writing and sloppy execution. Well, unsurprisingly, his music has gained a significant boost in streaming and sales with Lucid Dreams in the Top 10 and Legends peaking here. Now to be fair, Legends isn’t that bad as its content is focused on rappers dying young and being considered legends afterwards, which is something he doesn’t want. Also, this line.
What's the 27 Club? We ain't making it past 21
Yyyyeah, I’m not touching that one. This was made as a tribute to Lil Peep and He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named (neither of who I’d considered legends, but that all comes down to personal opinions). Still, this sounds like a rejected Post Malone song in terms of Juice WRLD’s insufferable voice and dreary production. I’m sorry. Rest in peace to Juice, but this isn’t good. I give it a 2/5.
#28. Whoa-Lil Baby: Another day, another terrible Lil Baby song on the charts. Yeah, I’m not gonna mince words here, I don’t like this song. Another boring flexing track with muted trap production, Lil Baby’s Auto-Tuned gargling, and zero personality or creativity. It’s only here because it’s named after a dance craze from 2017 that’s made a comeback thanks to TikTok. I’m gonna say something that’ll sound very “Old Man Yells At Cloud”-like, but seriously, fuck TikTok for making shitty songs famous. I give this one-dimensional waste of time a 1/5.
#26. Last Christmas-Wham!: From my Worst Christmas Songs list; “Look, I like Wham!’s music as much as the next person and I know a lot of people like this song, but, unpopular opinion, it ain’t doing it for me. Last Christmas is where a woman breaks up with a guy the day after Christmas and he’s trying to get back with her, even knowing that she broke his heart. The downer tone of the writing clashes with the more upbeat new wave production, which is honestly bland. Wham! has made better songs than this.” I give it a 2/5.
#24. Let It Snow-Dean Martin: A perfectly fine Christmas song that stuck around. 3/5.
#20. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year-Andy Williams: “You know it’s the holiday season when they start playing this song. Just like with All I Want For Christmas Is You, It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year has seen nonstop rotation every year since its inception and it has a lot going for it: the big band sound, the charm of Andy Williams, and a timeless feel of the festivities, which are mentioned in the song.” I give it a 4/5.
#17. Heartless-The Weeknd: Recently, The Weeknd released two songs for his upcoming album, Heartless and Blinding Lights with the former reaching the top of the charts. While I wouldn’t call it his best song, Heartless does work for me. The heavy trap beat has some knock to it, The Weeknd hits it out of the park with his delivery, and while the content is more hedonistic debauchery, he makes it work here in presenting the ugliness of that life. While I believe Blinding Lights is superior (because of how great it is), I would still give Heartless a 5/5.
#10. A Holly Jolly Christmas-Burl Ives: “If you’ve watched the Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer TV special, you already heard this song. A Holly Jolly Christmas is performed by actor and singer Burl Ives, which is easily better than the title track and is a goddamn classic. The music is cheerful and jolly with its varying guitar riffs and backing organ. Burl Ives brings the joy and spirit of the holidays in his performance that makes this song work. What more can I say about it? It’s a great holiday song.” I give it a 5/5.
And that was another Top 40 Review. Stay tuned next month when I do another one. This week, I release my Best Songs of 2019 list.