Everyone knows (or should know by now) that the most perfect modern Christmas pop song is Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You"—and now you can enjoy the Empire State Building shine along to the 1994 classic every night through Christmas Day this week.
The festive light show occurs at 7 p.m., synced to Z100, 103.5 KTU and 106.7 LiteFM. Last night was the first show:
Here's where you can see it:
Adam Rageusa wrote in Slate that the song, written by Carey and Walter Afanasieff, is the "only Christmas song written in the last half-century worthy of inclusion in the Great American Songbook," pointing out how "[r]ock ’n’ roll songs (and the subsequent pop songs influenced by the genre) may only contain three or four chords, each chord usually being just a major or a minor—the two chord 'flavors' analogous to chocolate and vanilla. In contrast, a tune from the Songbook might use a Baskin-Robbins shop full of chords and chord flavors—7ths and 9ths, half and fully diminished, various inversions, and more... I count at least 13 distinct chords at work in 'All I Want for Christmas Is You,' resulting in a sumptuously chromatic melody."
It also sounds wonderful when it's pared down:
In an interview, Afanasieff told Billboard that he was surprised about the song's success and lasting legacy (he also called the song "formulaic"):
By the way, thousands of original Christmas songs have been written in the last 20 years. It’s not like no one writes Christmas songs—everyone is trying to get a Christmas song. But for whatever reason "All I Want For Christmas Is You" just became that song. It’s kind of something you never would have thought, and you can’t really explain why, and we feel lucky, because it was the last major song to enter that Christmas canon, and then the door slammed shut. It just closed.
I’m sure there’s going to be another one; there has to be. But it has to be the right artist at the right time, the right words and the right melody for the right cultural moment. It became our song 20 years ago, and it just keeps growing and growing. I believe "All I Want For Christmas is You" will be the most successful, popular Christmas song of all time.
Last week, James Corden offered up a star-studded Carpool Karaoke version (with Mimi included, of course):