Jeff: Ahhh, another fine Mellowmas morning. How are you feeling, old pal?
Jeff: Sounds like someone needs his coffee!
Jason: Well, I just woke up. My eyes are crusty, my breath is awful…
Jeff: Oh, wait, you don’t drink coffee. I know what’ll wake you up.
Jason: So far, vision and smell are screwed. I guess we might as well throw the ears into the mix.
Jeff: You know, nothing says “Christmas” quite like a man peering intensely into the camera while wearing a red blazer and a cross on a chain around his neck. Don’t you agree?
Jason: Unless this image you’re painting for me also includes sky-blue wrapping paper as a backdrop, count me out.
Jeff: Why, you’re in luck!
Jeff: Also what says Christmas: tinny R&B beats. You know I love me some tinny R&B beats, Jason!
Jason: Oh boy, do I! How many years ago was Keith Sweat? You talk about it almost daily! Or “on the daily,” as I guess the kids say.
Jeff: Joy to Keith Sweat! Keith Sweat has come!
Jeff: Hold on, I’m getting my Drakkar Noir.
Jason: So who’s the Keith Sweat of 2011 Mellowmas?
Jeff: Okay, that’s better. Anyway, as I was saying, it wouldn’t be Mellowmas without a little old-fashioned New Jack holiday spirit. And this year, it’s being brought to us by Joe.
Jason: Joe? No way! Awesome!
Jeff: I have no idea! But he’s clearly very famous. I mean, unless you’re as well-known as Madonna, Cher, or Charo, you can’t get away with using just one name.
Jason: Yes, clearly. He had a #2 album on the Billboard 200 in 2000. Which makes me feel very, very old, because I just have no damn clue who he is. But I’ll tell you one other thing about Joe: kick-ass mustache.
Jeff: He likes a red blazer, I can tell that much. Also, he most likely does not own a comb.
Oooh! And he did a Christmas song just for you!
Jason: …just for me?
Jeff: “Christmas in New York”! That’s you! That’s you!
Jason: “Christmas in New York,” huh? I hope this song talks about the guy outside my supermarket who wears a Santa hat and asks every girl who walks by to marry him.
Jeff: Or the Saw Lady!
Jason: Yes! Natalie Paruszszsz! I can’t believe I even know her name well enough to mock it.
Jeff: So many things about New York deserve to be in this song. I wonder how many Joe was able to fit.
Jason: We gotta listen and find out!
Jason: Aww yeah, baby.
Joe — Christmas in New York (download)
Jeff: This is so very tender.
Jason: Wait a minute. Jeff.
Jeff: Hark! I hear a horn!
Jason: WHERE ARE THE BEATS. I HEAR NO BEATS.
Jeff: Maybe Joe had his beats jacked?
Jason: Jeff, these are REAL INSTRUMENTS. The horn’s real. The strings are real.
Jeff: I picture Joe walking around a nightclub while he sings this, like Will Ferrell in Anchorman.
Jason: He’s name-checking just about everything in New York City. I can’t wait to see how he rhymes something with “FAO Schwarz.”
Jeff: Or “Paruszszsz.”
Jason: Jeff, this is not New Jack. It’s not even Old Jack.
Jeff: It’s more like Old Burl.
Jason: This is a touch pander-y, but it’s not bad. It’s not even close to bad.
Jeff: No, this is pretty fucking classy.
Jason: A jazz guitar plucking out the notes echoing the vocal? That’s old-school, man. This album cover is misleading. We should sue Joe.
Jeff: Yes! I think the worst thing about it is the album cover, which is making me giggle every time I look over at it.
Jason: Every time I look over at it, I’m expecting his voice to be at least an octave lower. And for there to be at least one line about sex.
Jeff: I know, right? Joe needs to take some lessons from Keith Sweat.
Or, you know, not.
Paul Carrack could totally cover the fuck out of this song.
Jason: It’s probably the same band!
Jeff: Actually, they have sort of the same haircut and facial hair.
Jason: Ha ha ha ha!
Jeff: I wonder if Joe took that blazer from Paul’s closet?
Jason: A Carrack/Joe duet album! The world is waiting! I just quickly listened to a bit of every other track on this album, and it’s all the same. Real instruments. I don’t know what the hell is going on.
Jeff: Will Joe join Mike and the Mechanics?
Jason: Oh wait, scratch that. I found the beats.
Jeff: Are they in Joe’s goatee?
Jason: “Make Sure You’re Home.” THIS is what we’re looking for.
Jeff: Hold on, I’m lighting a fire.
Jason: Unbutton your shirt while you’re at it.
Jeff: I love that title — “Make Sure You’re Home.” It has the perfect old school blend of romance and the threat of physical violence.
Joe doesn’t fool around with the falsetto!
Jason: “Lyrics and Music by Ike Turner.” Hey, wait, I didn’t start listening yet!
Jeff: “I Didn’t Mean It for Christmas”
“Jingle Busted Lip”
“Do You Hear What You Made Me Do”
Jason: Oh shit! ”Jingle Bell Slap.”
Okay, no more domestic violence jokes. Let’s get to the beats. They’re waiting for us.
Jeff: I started playing this three minutes ago, and I just got to the part where Joe says “I’ve got a present waiting for you.”
Jason: I haven’t even started listening, you bastard.
Jeff: Oh, I’ll start over.
Joe — Make Sure You’re Home (download)
Jeff: Joe, baby. Damn.
Jason: YES. This is what I wanted! Melismas!
Jeff: I wish Barry White could sing this. Or Lou Rawls.
Jason: Joe remixed a duet by Barry White and Tina Turner called “Never in Your Wildest Dreams.”
Make sure you’re home, baby, come home this Christmas night! Don’t leave me home alone!
Jeff: He did hit the UNGGGH note!
Jason: You know, this is full of the beats I previously mentioned, but it’s still not bad!
Jeff: I love those pillow-soft harmonies that Joe does with himself on the chorus. Somewhere, Ralph Tresvant weeps softly.
Jason: This is well done. I can’t wait to put the moves on my wife with this song playing in the background.
Jason: I can almost feel her pushing me away now.
Jeff: DO IT.
Jason: “Jason, what the hell are you doing? Stop it.”
Jeff: Even better, set up a camera and film it so we can make a Mellowmas music video.