Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Just In Time

"Just In Time For Christmas" is quite possibly my most favorite "modern" holiday song. I love how it's slightly cynical, slightly bitter, but then something changes and it becomes probably the most romantic Christmas song ever. It touches me in the deepest sense: I go through the motions, like a zombie, and I nod and smile and make people happy and in that sense I am happy but deep inside, there's an emptiness and longing. Then maybe someone comes along and makes a difference, and all of a sudden my black and white life turns to technicolor. I have always loved my dear beloved Nancy La Mott's version of this song, and I have heard other versions but I always compare them to the original, and most of the time they don't stand up. Except now, Broadway heartthrob Max Von Essen recorded it to benefit The Trevor Project, and when I found out about this, I instantly downloaded it. Well, it has been on infinite loop the whole day now, and I haven't tired of listening to it yet. It's fantastic to hear a male version of this song, but Max gets the tenderness of the lyric, the longing in the verse, the slight acid in there. He gets it, he gets the message, he gets the song.  I knew he would sing it well, but he puts his heart into it, too. It's a great bookend version to Nancy's and I will listen to it for years to come.  

Kelly Clarkson recently also released an EP and in it, she does a version of the Holiday chestnut "I'll Be Home For Christmas," and this chestnut is lightly roasted on an open fire.  Kelly's version has a lot of ache and soul, and I love the little wails she does towards the end. They scream drama, as only a divette like Kelly can serve. The song has always been a favorite of mine, and whenever I hear this song,  I always imagine a scene wherein someone is traveling home the last hours of Christmas Eve and arriving at the door of his love with only minutes to spare. The lightly lilting arrangement for Kelly has me envisioning a couple looking into each other's eyes as they slow dance. And then there's Kelly in a chiffon white halter gown singing.  I told you I loved drama ! 

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