10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2011
This mediocre CD has a couple songs that will probably get played over and over on the radio for the next few holiday seasons, but little else to recommend it. It sounds like he ran into the studio for a couple days and they just took one of the first takes of each, instead of taking the time to put together a really great Christmas album. His "guests" that sing along with him don't do anything other than make you realize how weak the album is (the Drummer Boy rap is pretty bad if not borderline sacrilegious). The Mariah Carey song is pretty much all her and almost none of him--hard to say why it's even on this CD.
Pretty disappointing and not worth buying the whole thing--pick the cuts you like and download those alone. And don't waste extra money on the "deluxe" version--it merely has an a capella version of a song already on the CD, "Pray" which he put out earlier and a terrible rendition of "Someday at Christmastime." (The last song was actually recorded in 2009 and he sang it live on the White House Christmas TV special, so his pitch is much higher and he can't hit all the notes.) This is not the worst Christmas CD ever made but it should have been much better.
23 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2011
Received the new album in the mail today, I ordered it for my little sister b/c she is a HUGE Justin Bieber fan and I wanted to listen to it to see what it's all about and I gotta say I'm disappointed. I enjoyed the Maria Carey song but thats' only b/c I already liked that song. She washed him out vocally. Boyz II Men were great as usual but that is about it. His voice is alot different but I just don't think alot of the songs sounded good. He murdered that Drummer Boy song and I think that was just a terrible idea especially feat Busta Rhymes (maybe there is a reason he doesn't do Christmas albums). Anyways I'm sure all of the Bieber fans will order it just because they are obsessed with him, but I honestly would rather save my money.
25 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2011
Expectations for music released at, and for, the Christmas period are usually pretty low. It's fair to say that the time of the classic Christmas song is long gone, and few, if any, will ever sit alongside the recognized "canon" of festive standards. When you listen to, say, Phil Spector's seminal, timeless "A Christmas Gift For You" record, you can't imagine any of today's pop goons ever creating anything quite so genuinely joyful. So yeah, it's now all a big "whatever - it's Christmas" shrug. We don't really expect much from today's crop of Christmas tunes.
But, seriously, has it come to this? Are we really so turned off, desensitized and bored with Christmas music that something so horrendous, poorly conceived and downright WRONG as Bieber's "Under the Mistletoe" record can be released and we simply mark it down as yet another Christmas album? The fact that, in the last three weeks both Michael Buble AND X Factor dud and celebrity non-event Joe McElderry have released depressingly similar Christmas albums, and even they sound relatively palatable compared to this monstrous mis-fire.
The whole point of a Christmas record is, surely, to make you warm towards and anticipate the big day. To enjoy spending time with your loved ones and to really get behind the "season of goodwill." Yet the sheer bile that wells up in the soul when simply looking at Bieber's arrogant, hateful face, coupled with his whining, nasally voice, makes you wish for a Santa suicide bomber.
We'll get to the main offender later, but let's deal with the other low quality tracks first. The handful of new songs are all vanilla, instantly forgetful R&B lite dross, all repeating the same eye-rolling cliches ("I heard on the street that Santa Claus is coming to town" - noooo, REALLY, Justin?) and boring, mundane ballads with as much soul and warmth as an airport departure lounge. Remember when I said new Christmas songs can't hang with the classics? These new songs aren't even on par with "Have a Cheeky Christmas" by the Cheeky Girls.
As for the covers, the puppet masters who pull Bieber's strings have decided to ruin some of the most celebrated Christmas songs of all time. Among them, a turgid, "I'm really feeling the emotion here, honest" snooze-fest cover of Silent Night and an appalling version of "The Christmas Song" that makes you wish that it was only Bieber's chestnuts roasting on an open fire. And what says "Christmas" more than a guest appearance by "talk to my manager and show me the money" Busta Rhymes on "Little Drummer Boy", an atrocious, vulgar track that has Bieber attempting to rap, with knuckle chewing, face-palm worthy lyrics ("Playing for the king, playing for the title, I'm surprised you didn't hear this in the bible"). The fact this music was recorded, released - and that people paid money for it - simply beggars belief.
Anyway, onto the main offender and lead single from the record itself. Arguably the last Christmas song that could sit alongside festive pop standards like Slade's "Merry Xmas Everybody" and Wham's "Last Christmas", Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas is You" remains the only song in her entire career that is of any worth whatsoever. Released in 1994, it remains a Christmas favourite. It's got bags of charm, an irresistible pop hook and is pretty much impossible not to enjoy.
Leave it up to the record labels then, to strip the song of any merit and make it note for note the worst track on an already grim and grisly album.. and Mariah is there for the ride, willfully destroying her own song all in the name of attempting to remain relevant to 12 year old girls. The video has to be seen to be believed; Carey doing her "I can't do anything else" coquettish shtick in a skimpy Santa outfit, now looking like a depressed, crack addicted hooker while Bieber basically shouts over the rest of the song. Yes indeed, nothing says "Christmas time!" like a 41 year old balloon chested skank making sexy eyes at a 17 year old boy. It's absolutely shameful.
Lazy, cheap Christmas cash-in's, where flavour of the month pop morons ruin Christmas songs are nothing new, and they will continue to be made as long as stupid kids and no-nothing parents buy them. Make no mistake - "Under the Mistletoe" could very well be the worst of the lot. If Santa Claus is indeed making a list of who's been naughty and nice, he should surely be heading for Justin Bieber's home with a pair of pliers and a blow torch.
12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2011
It has been fun watching this kid grow up over the last few years and take over the musical world. He has made connections with many other artists, collaborating with them and trying out various musical styles. This is very evident on this delightful set of tunes for the holiday season. There are surprises too - who would think of doing "Little Drummer Boy" as a rap tune - yet they all work. It is one of those rare CD's that you can put on and play all the way through, without having to skip over painfully annoying tracks.
Justin's voice is developing and deepening and an even more recent cover tune now on the Internet indicates that this is still happening. There are about six new songs on Mistletoe and Justin participated in writing all of them, and is the main writer and producer for one of these songs. I realize there are the "hatrz" and critics out there, but in my opinion as an almost 71 year old grandfather, this kid is one of the bright spots on an otherwise bleak planet. Christmas time is a great time to celebrate the fact that there are still people around like Justin Bieber, and that there is new fun Christmas music to listen to. Highly recommended.