Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Shins oust Mariah Carey from her mall-based Christmas music throne

Illustration for article titled The Shins oust Mariah Carey from her mall-based Christmas music throne

Unlikely challengers for the P.A. system holiday crown, The Shins have successfully deposed Mariah Carey as the undisputed queen of music you grow slowly annoyed by while doing last-minute Christmas shopping at the mall. For 20 years, Carey has held that holly-festooned, commercially acceptable throne with her alternately breathy and poppy “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” a song scientifically designed to be just barely tolerable for the length of time it takes to walk from one end to the other of an H&M.


But now, according to the taste enforcers at PlayNetwork (the company that helps more than 400 companies design their in-store playlists), Queen Carey has been booted down the chimney to number two. In her place: The Shins, covering Paul McCartney’s yuletide HateSong candidate, “Wonderful Christmastime.”

It’s not clear what a cover of one of the least essential songs ever written by a member of the Beatles is doing playing in so many stores—it’s possible that people are just relieved to have a version that doesn’t sound like Sir Paul gets gunned down in a drive-by synthesizer battle halfway through its run—but it doesn’t change the omnipresent holiday fact: Enter a mall this year, and you’re going to hear indie rockers crooning “Ding dong, ding dong” until your ears start to bleed. (Work at a mall this year, meanwhile, and you’ll feel the song slowly become tattooed to the inside of your brain.)

The Shins find themselves presiding over a list that proves the old holiday rule: release a commercial cover of a Christmas favorite, and you’ll never go unplayed again. After all, where but in the heart of the capitalist Christmas spirit could Coldplay, Christina Aguilera, and Train—that’s right, “Drops Of Jupiter” themselves—appear together on a playlist of heavily rotationed tunes? It’s a Christmas miracle, folks.

Anyway, here’s the full list:

1) The Shins “Wonderful Christmastime”
2) Mariah Carey “All I Want For Christmas Is You”
3) Christina Aguilera “Christmas Time”
4) The Waitresses “Christmas Wrapping”
5) Jack Johnson “Someday At Christmas”
6) Kelly Clarkson “Underneath The Tree”
7) Michael Buble “A Holly Jolly Christmas”
8) Bing Crosby “White Christmas”
9) Train “What Christmas Means To Me”
10) Ella Fitzgerald “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
11) Coldplay “Christmas Lights”
12) Jose Feliciano “Feliz Navidad”
13) Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings “White Christmas”
14) Vince Guaraldi Trio “Christmas Time Is Here”
15) Sam Smith “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
16) Pentatonix “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)”
17) Paul McCartney “Wonderful Christmastime”
18) She & Him “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
19) Elvis Presley “Blue Christmas”
20) Darlene Love “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”

[via Uproxx]