As we head closer and closer to December, it is that time when our blog starts to go in Christmas mode. And one of the most important things about Christmas is the music, right?
This is the second of RuPaul’s Christmas albums (the first one being Ho Ho Ho, released in 1997) and it is so refreshing to hear some new and alternative Christmas music, especially because they are all original songs instead of the same old ‘celebrity’ classic covers.
If you’re unfamiliar, RuPaul is a drag queen, actor, singer, model… the whole shebang really, and she also happens to be one of the most inspiring people ever. Recently the queen managed to get me out of my self-hating state of mind, (so thank you Ru!!!).
The album features ten singles complete with ten interludes, where we hear RuPaul talking about her life with fellow drag race favourites (Michelle Visage, the pit crew etc.) which for a fan, is a great extra bonus to listen to. However, to avoid jumping at the sound of RuPaul’s cackle whilst on public transport, I decided to make a separate playlist just for the songs, so here they are…
The album kicks off with Merry Christmas, Mary which is probably my favourite song on the album. The song has such a soulful sound to it – complete with a gospel choir, sleigh bells and clapping in the background which makes you just want to get up and dance. I also love the standard RuPaul sass when she sings: “No this ain’t your mama’s Christmas carol.” – which I LIVE for.
Christmas Is About Love is the next single, which has a similar background sound (gospel singers, hand claps – you get the idea). However this one conveys a completely different message. The point of this song is to remind people of the true meaning of Christmas, which the inspirational queen hits instantly with the first line: “Christmas ain’t about what you give or you get.”
The third track featuring Michelle Visage follows the same cheerful intention by saying that gifts come From Your Heart, not from a box. The tune is so catchy and it is kind of nice to see a sweet side from Visage, compared to her usual fierceness. The real message kind of hits home a bit when you listen to these songs and you think of what Christmas is really about. Ru is definitely spilling the tea on Christmas in both these songs.
You’re The Star (On My Christmas Tree) is the next in the album and just delivers even more excellence. In this single you get the real sentiment in Ru’s voice as she expresses love for her special someone by singing “I love you, love you love you” – it would definitely be a song that I’d drunkenly sing to my significant other… (if I had one). The song featuring Ru listing Christmas traditions makes you not only think of loved ones but of the holiday itself, which actually brings me onto the next track….
Ru teams up with Markaholic in this track to tell us about her Favourite Holiday and what I can only describe as the mash-up sound of a traditional pop Christmas single with an 80’s club banger. It’s got such a sickening beat to it that I can literally imagine somebody putting it on during Christmas day and then 20 seconds later your entire family is up in the living room having a lil’ dance around the tree.
Come and taste Ru’s Christmas Cookies next, in probably my next favourite song in the album. It is the second of the singles to have a do-wop sound and the playing of the saxophone with her voice is SUCH a good combination that I could listen to all day. It’s also the only song with dialogue in which I love because I like to pretend she is talking to me… Is that sad?
Jingle Dem Bells (ft. Big Freedia & Ellis Miah) and Nothing For Christmas are the next singles on the album, both of which are my least favourite tracks on Slay Belles. As much as I love a good rap song, the intro to Jingle Dem Bells reminds me of “Boats ‘N Hoes” from the film Step Brothers, which kind of stopped me from taking it seriously. And as for Nothing For Christmas, it is okay but I think in comparison to the rest of the album it is one of the weaker ones. If these two tracks were contestants in Drag Race… they’d be lip-syncing for their life.
The love suddenly comes back when I listen to Deck The Halls featuring MTV’s Todrick Hall as it sounds absolutely magical. Todrick takes the lead vocals in this single and it literally sounds like a Disney Christmas song which I LOVE. His and Ru’s voices compliment each other so well and if you haven’t decorated for Christmas already you’ll definitely want to after you’ve heard this.
The album finishes with Brand New Year (ft. Siedah Garrett) and it is actually quite sad when you get to the end, like when you finish a packet of biscuits. However the album goes off with a bang as mama Ru provides you with the perfect sound to go into the New Year, whilst reminding you to leave all your problems in the past and start fresh. The end of the album means only one thing…. time to listen to it all over again!!
The album is truly amazing and I can’t get enough of it. If you want to get in on the action in time for Christmas then you can listen to Slay Belles, on Spotify or purchase through iTunes and Amazon.