For years, when someone asked you what your favourite Christmas song was, you merely had to choose between “Jingle Bells,” “Deck The Halls” or any number of old Jazz Standards that had been ingrained in the human psyche for nearly a century. As soon as Mariah Carey came on the scene, all that changed forever, with one song & one song only defining the Christmas experience forevermore; Her 1994 megahit “All I Want For Christmas Is You” – This track is the quintessential holiday tune, so synonymous with the Christmas season that Carey herself has become a meme of sorts, an enigmatic figure who appears in live scenarios once a year to sing songs of yule tide & snow before disappearing for another 11 months, never to be heard of again. It’s about the warmth & radiance one feels around this time of year, overcome with loving emotion & eager to share their passions with someone special, claiming that all the gifts, stockings & jolly old North Pole builders have nothing on the simplicity of holding her lover in her arms, the best gift anyone could ever receive; There’re no attempts to express an age-old story from the bible, nor any references to Pop culture that would pin this track down as a story from a very specific point in time, instead focusing on the human need for affection & the fulfillment one receives from something as immaterial as a feeling – What’s important about this as a narrative is that it allows literally every demographic to relate to the song, whether you’re wealthy or poor, because you don’t need money to appreciate the value of compassion, reminding listeners that Christmas is about much more than simply buying the most expensive gift you could possibly afford. But it’s much more than a charming narrative that makes this song excel, Carey’s wonderful performance breathing new life into the holiday as she picks up the pace from the slow, serenading tone of old hymns & injects her signature Teen Pop charm into the mix, creating a danceable tune with a fun, lighthearted spirit that’ll put some pep in your step right from the start – As far as instrumentation is concerned, we get an upbeat arrangement of Rock drums pounding out a driving rhythm, a stern piano & bassline mimicking this march as well as a wonderfully expressive chord progression comprised of various interweaving melodies traveling in opposite directions, making for a track the grows in radiance with every line, filling you with a lively spirit that wants to embrace the glow wholeheartedly. To this, Carey sings with a mixture of flirtatious romanticism & youthful personality, her melodies bright & hopeful without becoming corny or cheerful enough to be embarrassing; From the achy serenity of her milky-smooth low-register notes to the tantalizing crackling of vocal fry in her high-register runs, she captivates audiences with one of her most alluringly playful performances, making the concept of love not only seem attainable, but an experience you’d much rather receive at Christmas-time than gifts – To cap things off, Carey shot a music video for this holiday bop, showing her trapesing around in a winter wonderland dressed in red, flirting with Mr. Claus himself & posing in front of a fireplace like some sort of calendar girl. As fun as it is, it doesn’t hold a candle to what many consider its true music video form, which would be the little girl from Love Actually singing Carey’s masterpiece in the school play, little Thomas Brodie-Sangster playing his heart out on the drums behind her, capturing the heart & spirit of this song more than even Carey’s original rendition does. Regardless of which side of that camp you fall in, “All I Want For Christmas” is a modern classic that will last in the Christmas history books long after the holiday has fallen from human tradition in the centuries to come, quite literally the happiest holiday song around.
"All I Want for Christmas Is You" is a Christmas song by American singer Mariah Carey. She co-wrote and co-produced it with Walter Afanasieff for her fourth studio album and first holiday album, Merry Christmas (1994). Columbia Records released it as the lead single from the album on October 29, 1994. The track is an uptempo love song that includes bell chimes, backing vocals and synthesizers. The song has become a Christmas standard and continues to surge in popularity each holiday season.