I'll be the judge of that.

DOPE Digest Vol. 22 – Christmas Edition! w/ Ariana Grande, New Found Glory, Sufjan Stevens and MORE!

Ariana Grande – Santa Tell Me


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BK: This video is kuh-yute, with a capital ‘KUH’. They seem to be going for some of the homemade charm that made the original ‘Call Me Maybe‘ such a hit, and it works pretty well (though I think the outtakes don’t do her any favors to dispel her diva reputation.

The song itself is sweet, simple, and chipper. It’s not quite the bolt of holiday lightning that Mariah’s ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ is, which would surely disappoint her management team who appear desperate to make Ariana into Mariah 2.0, but I think the song stands on it’s own merits and is a worthy addition to the holiday playlist.

syvo: Sometimes, in dark moments of my life, I feel like I’m the only person on the planet who knows about this song. Certainly, I must be the only person around who genuinely enjoys this song. It’s not collossal. It’s not game-changing as far as the wider yuletide-pop genre goes. But it’s nice to have a new one this year, and the video is extremly cuddly.

By the way BK, you say “diva reputation” like it’s a bad thing? You lost me.


New Found Glory – “Snow”

BK: The boys (read: men) of NFG have been making emo hits since the mid-nineties. It seems to me that with age, everyone gets a little bit more nostalgic about the holidays and New Found Glory is no different.

The song itself doesn’t carry quite the emotional heft that the band seems to be pushing for (betrayed mostly by the syncpotated guitar n’ drum beat at the opening), but it is still a fun addition to the holiday repertoire. Never change, NFG.

syvo:  Anyone who is a fan of both Christmas and nasly pop-punk will find their Christmas season enriched by this new track, which helps us realize just how emo Christmas can be sometimes. Just how emo, you ask? “I will lie in the snow and melt all of the cold/With the burning fire in my soul.”

That emo.


Justin Bieber – “Christmas Love”

BK: Now HERE is a track that will definitely be played at my Christmas party this year (and every year forever after). What’s that you say, friends and family? Justin Bieber is an annoying brat whose continued presence in your life is baffling? You say he needs to go away for 3-4 years and come back when he’s slightly less up his own ass?! Well, to that I say: ‘Christmas Love’… right?

Seriously though, this song rules. If it makes you feel better, pretend it’s being sung by America’s Sweethearts Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake.

syvo: We need Bieiber back on track. We need him in the groove. We need this Bieber again. That’s my Christmas wish this year.


Blink 182 – “Boxing Day”

syvo: This song camee out for the Christmas 2012 season, and I still feel like it’s really underrated. I rememeber at the time, I was working a job I absolutely hated. I had to work said job on, literally, “the day after Christmas.” I remember that day being lonely and bone-chillingly cold, and I’ve scarcely ever been more miserable. But this song got me through it! Save this one for your post-Christmas blues. It’s enlivining.

BK: Dude, you trying to make me cry right now? It’s Christmas eve for Chrissake!

This song is 100% genius. There’s nothing more morose than focusing on the return to work and normalcy after a nice time celebrating with friends and family, and that’s certainly what we have going on here. Tom DeLonge’s voice has never sounded better.

(Sidenote: I don’t think the dudes of Blink know how atom bombs or fireflies work, but I won’t hold that against them. They’re too busy rocking!)



Sufjan Stevens – Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

BK: Christmas is an easy time to be cynical and I enter into that mode as much as the next guy, however, this simple, toned down hymnal sung by the always excellent Sufjan Stevens is one of the tracks that is helping to keep me in the holiday spirit this year. It is an elegant take on a song that you can probably hear at your local church if you venture out join in the religious aspects of the holiday (shout out to Waterbury Congregational Church Choir! I see you!!)



DOPE Digest Throwback: Run-DMC – Christmas in Hollis

BK: No way are we leaving this Christmas post on a downbeat. It’s a celebration, let’s treat it like one! Run-DMC have the perfect combination of holiday spirit and head-nodding beats. This is easily one of the two best holiday-themed rap songs of all-time, right up there with this classic jam. An adorable line like ‘The rhymes that you hear are the rhymes of Darrell / but each and every year we bust Christmas carols’ will never get old.

Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas.


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