Ariana Grande's "Santa Tell Me" Has All the Makings of a Christmas Hit As Long As It's Not Overplayed — LISTEN
Let it never be said that Ariana Grande is not one of the most talented young performers out there. Christmas is one of my favorite holidays and thus I am very resistant to people trying to add new songs to my winter catalogue. There are your classics, there are your contemporaries, and then there are your wannabes — songs that are fun to listen to once, but that you know won't be on your Christmas list next year. This includes covers. (Yes, I'm looking at you Justin Bieber's cover of "All I Want for Christmas Is You." I'm still cringing at all of that auto-tune.) However, on Monday, Grande released the full version of "Santa Tell Me" and I am already addicted to this holiday, R&B love song.
The music is on point. It combines sleigh bells (sleigh bells!) over a sweeping, almost orchestral melody and the usual R&B bass- and drum line that we've all gotten used to from Grande's songs. Then, near the end, there's clapping, encouraging everyone to sing along, stomp their feet, and just have a good time, as if we were at the world's greatest Christmas party. Once you've gotten used to all of that, there are the lyrics to contend with. Sure, it starts out sounding a little too much like "Santa Baby" ("Santa Tell Me" and "Santa Baby" sound way too similar), but then the beat comes in and you're able to focus on Grande's words.
"Feeling Christmas all around and I'm trying to play it cool," the former Nickelodeon star croons in the first verse. "But it's hard to focus when I see him walking 'cross the room. Let it snow, it's blasting now, but I won't get it in the mood. I'm avoiding every mistletoe until I know it's true love." And that was it, I was hooked. I was done. Grande had sunk her vocal claws into me and never let me go. Just try listening to "Santa Tell Me" and not feeling the urge to play it all through December until you're sick of the song and don't want to hear it again for a year (a.ka. until next Christmastime). Of course, there can be no doubt that the radios are going to overplay it because of it's R&B/pop appeal, but, hey. How many times have you heard "All I Want For Christmas Is You" without getting sick of the song? If Grande's song can withstand the test of wintertime repeats making people want to bang their heads against the steering wheel, then it's sure to be a Christmas classic.
Check out the song below.