Listen to this week’s YouTube Music playlist here.
Lil Jon, “All I Really Want for Christmas”
Sounds like: A merry crunkmas for one and all
Perfect for: Popping a holiday twerk
Time to turn up for Santa: Lil Jon has released the year’s most lit holiday jingle. “All I Really Want for Christmas” is a high-energy banger celebrating what’s really important during this season — namely, getting all the things you’ve put on your list. With a little assistance from the Kool-Aid man for an inexplicable reason, Lil Jon’s latest is the perfect antidote to more traditional, earnest carols.
Miley Cyrus, Mark Ronson and Sean Ono Lennon, “(Happy Xmas) War Is Over”
Sounds like: A timeless protest classic revived for a younger generation
Perfect for: Giving back this holiday season
John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s 1971 protest song has become an increasingly popular holiday track to cover in the last decade, but Miley Cyrus and Mark Ronson’s revamp takes the cake. Ronson’s delicate touch as producer makes the song feel more modern, while Cyrus belts to her fullest abilities. Of course, the pair get some assistance from one important figure: Sean Ono Lennon, who also appeared on Mavis Staples and Jeff Tweedy’s 2012 version.
Ozuna and Generacion Escogida, “Llego la Navidad”
Sounds like: An island rebuilding and finding hope after devastation
Perfect for: A winter getaway
A year after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, the island’s biggest star celebrates the beauty and resilience of his home with the gorgeous, instant holiday classic, “Llego la Navidad.” Translating to “Christmas Is Here,” the song was presented by Puerto Rico’s governor as well as the director of its tourism company. The lyrics make a strong case for spending time there this holiday season as Ozuna and Generacion Escogida praise the liveliness of Puerto Rico’s culture.
John Legend, featuring Stevie Wonder, “What Christmas Means to Me”
Sounds like: A wonderful and instantly legendary holiday staple
Perfect for: Trimming the tree, caroling and really any holiday traditions
Stevie Wonder’s version of “What Christmas Means to Me” was released over 50 years ago, but with Legend at the helm, the song feels like a brand new holiday classic. Of course, Legend calls upon Wonder to help him out with the album opener from his first ever holiday album, A Legendary Christmas, setting the tone for a soulful celebration of the joy this time of year can produce.
Tyler, the Creator, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”
Sounds like: A match made in misanthrope heaven
Perfect for: Helping your heart grow three sizes
For one of this holiday season’s most surprising covers, check out Tyler, the Creator’s update of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” Suave and playfully menacing, Tyler’s take on the iconic theme song for Dr. Seuss’ beloved Christmas antihero turns out to be a shockingly perfect match for the often less-than-family-friendly Odd Future leader. It’s one of two songs he contributed to the soundtrack for the latest animated film adaptation of the story, and it made our heart grow three sizes.