Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello's 'The Christmas Song' Depicts Famous People Acting Normally


Almost: Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, “The Christmas Song”— Christmas songs are engineered specifically to make me cry, and it works, almost every year, without fail. “The Christmas Song” is an old chestnut that is schmaltzy enough to hit me in the gut and make me weep whenever I hear it. By that math, it’d be safe to assume that this rendition, performed by roommates Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes, would at least get one tear out of one of my eyes, but I’m sorry to say, it didn’t. I’m also a sucker for home movie-style music videos, because I like to see famous people “acting” normally. This delivers that, as well as footage of an absolutely adorable puppy, but as for real emotion other than “ah, I guess,” I got nothing! —Megan Reynolds

Nah: Gwen Stefani, “Let Me Reintroduce Myself” – After taking a hiatus from releasing new music to purse her career as an eternal host of The Voice, Gwen Stefani is back with a song that declares it: “Lеt me reintroduce myself,” she sings in the song’s chorus. “‘Case you forgot, no, I’m not records on your shelf / I’m still the original-riginal old me, yeah.” It sounds like she’s attempting to channel her ska punk roots, save for any discernible hook. I suggest skipping this, and hoping whatever comes next has some vibrancy. —Maria Sherman

It’s fine: Why Don’t We, “Lotus Inn” – Why Don’t We is always hit or miss for me—“Trust Fund Baby” was a nightmare, no doubt the result of viral Vine guys getting a boy band together and hoping to become massively popular while singing about the kind of mature things that tear boy bands apart. But “Lotus Inn,” is kind of… good? A fun-enough pop-rock tune? The lyrical line “You look so perfect”—channeling one of the last great Western boy bands, 5 Seconds of Summer—is clever, but an unfortunate reminder of the charisma Why Don’t We seems to lack. I’m hoping the best is yet to come. —MS

Y: Anika Pyle, “S A D” – Philly’s Anika Pyle—formerly of the pop-punk band Chumped, who ripped harder than they had any reason to—is a brilliant songwriter, an expert in articulating emotive states without diluting their effect, or leaning into easy hyperbole. “S A D” is yet another Seasonal Affective Disorder song—there’s no shortage of them this year, huh?—but one that struggles with self-awareness. “Sadness is a selfish drug,” she whispers, and I hear echos of early Waxahatchee. —MS

Massive!: Jessy Lanza, “All the Time (DJ Swisha Remix)” – For the second time this year, Jessy Lanza has managed to drop new material on the same day as a surprise Taylor Swift release. (Lanza’s All the Time came out July 24, the same day as folklore.) The two artists have nothing to do with each other, but the bad timing helps literalize just how underrated Lanza is—her woozy electronic soul living in the release-day shadows of Swift’s straightforward, basic guitar pop. This jungle remix of the title track of Lanza’s latest comes from a seven-song remix “mixtape,” 24/7, which expands the sonic palate of the original project but loses none of its liminal magic. —Rich Juzwiak

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin