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HO HO WHO: Not satisfied with merely delivering us a five-disc box set of holiday music, Sufjan Stevens has gathered a few collaborators to put together Chopped and Scrooged, a Christmas mixtape with a seething disregard for traditional carols. Playing the red-nosed outcast leading Sufjan’s herd of guests is Kitty Pryde, a teenage rapper who has been a polarizing presence in the hip-hop world, her reputation earned mostly by being the living embodiment of Tumblr.
THE TWINKLE OF THE TINSEL: Gone are the days of pining for front teeth, apparently. According to “Implants and Yankee Candle,” kids these days want something with a little more bite. Pryde delivers an R-rated wish list with stuttering flow while Asthmatic Kitty staples Fol Chen provide a suitably sludgy backdrop of beats and groans. It’s bizarre enough to sustain interest for the three-minute running time, and the thick-as-syrup sounds might even have your head bobbing after four or five eggnogs.
DRY PINE NEEDLES ON THE CARPET: Even if you have a high tolerance for willful holiday inanity—-and you must have some if you’re listening to a Sufjan-curated mixtape—-“Implants and Yankee Candles” could be the straw the breaks the reindeer’s back. The deciding factor here is Kitty Pryde, who, like licorice, seems to be an love-or-hate proposition. On this anti-carol, her vocal delivery seems to only have three settings: mumble, whisper, and squeak. Even if there were some clever lines going on, they would be buried under all the affectation. Thus, any wit on this track is purely theoretical.
CHEER FACTOR: 4/10. Christmastime is supposed to make you feel like a kid again, but things like this just make me feel old.