Musical Advent Calendar 2013 – December 20

Day twenty! And, it’s a Friday! Which means we are heading into a holiday party kind of weekend! I feel compelled to end every sentence with an exclamation point!

Back on December 3rd, I wrote about the immense success of the Phil Specter produced A Christmas Gift For You From Philles Records.  This 1962 classic defined how Christmas records would sound in the rock & roll & soul era of pop music.  “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)” became an instant holiday standard that continues to be covered by new artists annually.”  And you almost can’t hear a cover of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” that doesn’t include the chorus shout of  “SAN-ta Claus is coming to town!  SAN-ta Claus is coming to town!”.

Through the decades, numerous  singers have emulated this sound to create their own holiday hits.  A couple of popular examples are Celine Dion’s “The Magic of Christmas Day”, and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You”.  Today’s song features the latest pop-star to use the Phil Specter formula to create what may just become a new holiday standard.  It’s Kelly Clarkson’s “Underneath The Tree”.

Clarkson’s new album, Wrapped In Red, actually features a couple of originals with a sound that traces back to Specter’s wall of sound.   But it’s “Underneath The Tree” that stands tallest on this collection, much like “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” did on the Philles Records release.  And that is somewhat appropriate, because Clarkson’s song kind of sounds like a response to the Darlene pop-standard.  Where Love’s song was about longing for her baby to come home because Christmas just wasn’t the same with out him, Clarkson’s song is about how everything is right at Christmas now that her baby is home, and that’s all she needs under her tree.

It’s fun, it’s catchy, it’s got an anthemic quality to it, it’s perfect for your holiday party this weekend, and it’s today’s selection for the Musical Advent Calendar.  Open the doors and listen to Kelly Clarkson’s “Underneath The Tree”!


~ by themattmorrisshow on December 20, 2013.

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