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HO HO WHO: Why Don’t We, a male quintet comprised largely of teens born in 1999 or later, who released their first album two years ago. One of these teens was apparently on American Idol, and Wikipedia informs me that the band is very good friends with Logan Paul, a multimillionaire YouTube star who once filmed a corpse hanging in Japan’s “suicide forest.” I regret to inform you that one of Why Don’t We’s music videos has 30 million views on the streaming platform.
SANTA COME THRU: This cover of “Feliz Navidad,” recorded in Spotify’s studios, is a PG version of a One Direction-Daddy Yankee collab. It is what happens when Christmas meets a Macy’s in suburban Fort Lauderdale. A fragmented, spoken-word intro gives you a sense of what you’re in for. Some of these lines, which might even look worse written down than they sound when spoken, include:
“Yo, Santa Claus is comin’ to town, man” — (I hope so)
“Dat kick kinda hard doe” — (Hm, a little hyperbolic)
“Santa Claus, you got any presents for me, man?” — (A fair question)
“I needa hot chocliiiiiiiiiiit” — (Extremely true)
Later in the song, they (politely!) ask Santa to “come thru,” which seems appropriate.
FIVE RINGS: Then there is the jubilant rap interlude, which borrows from “Twelve Days of Christmas” to deliver some truly astonishing promises. For example: “I got one, two, three, four, five golden rings, and I’ll give ‘em all to ya if ya make me your king,” the teens speak-sing over a jangle of acoustic guitars and percussion. Seems excessive! Little “skrrt skrrts” fall around the verses like a dusting of early winter snow.
CHEER FACTOR: 1/10. Or 10/10. On the one hand, I deeply don’t want to like this, and am in fact actively repulsed by it. On the other, it’s such an incredible reflection of These Times that denying it is like denying a part of your being. We did this to ourselves.