Carly Rae Jepsen Covers Wham!’s Classic ‘Last Christmas’
Shops rolled out the Christmas merch and Santa songs the second they cleared the aisles of Halloween candy this year, but as Thanksgiving approaches it finally feels appropriate to ring in the season. Carly Rae Jepsen tossed an early effort into the annual pool of Christmas pop releases today (November 20) with her take on Wham!'s 1984 classic, "Last Christmas."
Jepsen's "E.MO.TION" is one of the best pop records of 2015, filled with fizzy and immaculately-crafted bops that examine wanderlust, toxic aspects of the L.A. celebrity lifestyle and boy problems (who's got 'em?). She knows her way around a bittersweet pop song that goes down easy but isn't as simple as it appears, so it'd seem that Carly Rae and "Last Christmas" would be well-matched. The track starts off with some light scatting, finger snaps and an '80s-style sax that, combined with Jepsen's voice, evokes (not for her first time) 1989 pop princess Debbie Gibson. Unfortunately, the slick production is a disservice to both Carly's vocals and the original's emotional heft.
This "Last Christmas" cover falls short for the same reason Ariana Grande's did on 2013's "Christmas Kisses": George Michael's croon on Wham's track verged on maudlin, but it conveyed a very specific (and common) feeling of Christmastime loneliness. Covers of the song tend to get caught up in overproduction and wind up a sounding hollow for it.
Listen to Carly's Christmas cheer below — tell us if her is the only version you swear by, or if you've got another favorite "Last Christmas" cover let us know in the comments.