My wife is a big fan of Canadian wall-paper jazz/pop singer Michael Buble. Me? Not so much. (Not that I dislike the guy. It is just that I’d like him better if he included more guitar distortion and double bass.) Right now his album of holiday standards is number 1 in North America, having sold a staggering four million copies in the last five weeks. The song list is pretty standard stuff for a crooner like Buble: “Jingle Bells”, “White Christmas”, “Santa Baby”…
Okay, this is awkward. To be sure, “Santa Baby” has been a Christmas standard since Eartha Kitt recorded it in 1953. But, er, it’s a Christmas standard for the gals. And there’s a good reason. The song is a risque dance on the edge of blushing innuendo from the original Material girl singing to Sugar Daddy, oops I meant Santa Claus.
Now of all the dozens (nay, hundreds) of songs he could have chosen, Buble opts to provide his own rendition of a smoky standard intended for the fairer sex. What gives?
Mercifully, he didn’t adopt the lyrics wholesale. When Michael sings he informs Santa that he’s been a good guy (instead of girl), he bumps the convertible up to a ’65, and he drops the embarrassing request for a ring in favor of “cha-ching”. And with that Michael has demonstrated that a guy can sing “Santa Baby” and make it his own.
Not really. To be honest this works about as well as turkey flavored ice cream. And so for his decision to forgo countless solid modern standards (like Donnie Hathaway’s classic “This Christmas” for example) in favor of this eye-popping tribute to social awkwardness Michael Buble wins my Bad Idea of the Week award.