Jason: Oh, Jeff. This Mellowmas season has really worn me out.

Jeff: I’m not feeling so good myself, buddy. What’s got you down?

Jason: Hm, what could it be? Could it be THREE GODDAMN WEEKS OF AWFUL CHRISTMAS MUSIC?

Jeff: But we do this every year!

Jason: And I feel like this during the last week every year! I’ll tell you, one of my only pleasures has been listening to some old, soulful Christmas classics.

Jeff: There’s nothing like some good soul music, is there?

Jason: Nope. Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Lou Rawls…

Jeff: Those are all wonderful artists, but you’re starting to make me nervous.

Jason: And just the other day, I was listening to one of my favorites: “Christmas Ain’t Christmas (Without the One You Love)” by the O’Jays.

Jeff: That one is okay, but I prefer “Christmas Time in the City.” Don’t you?

Jason: I think you know I do not. What year did we cover that song? Was it last year?

Jeff: I could have sworn it was at least three Mellowmases ago, but no, it was last year.

Jason: Honestly? I had forgotten all about that New Jack piece of dung.

Jeff: I just replayed the first few seconds of “Christmas Time in the City.” I had forgotten it too, but now I love it again. Aww yeah, Jason!

Jason: Yeah, I did the same thing. Except I do not love it again. So anyway, here I was, enjoying my old soulful Christmas music, and I check my inbox.

Jeff: Hey, I did that! I’m such a good friend. I mean, when you’re talking about the group that recorded “Christmas Ain’t Christmas (Without the One You Love)” AND “Christmas Time in the City,” you really can’t go wrong.

Jason: I’m just confused. Why would the O’Jays record yet another Christmas album? And why did they have a 15-year-old taking his first Photoshop class design the cover?

Jeff: There are so many artists we could ask that question about. I mean, we could get through at least three years of Mellowmas covering no one but Barry Manilow, Kenny Rogers, Kenny G, and Amy Grant. shudder

Jason: Hang on, I’m lighting a match and setting my eardrums on fire.

Jeff: I did a quick Google search and found the answer to your question about this new O’Jays Christmas album.

Jason: Enlighten us.

Jeff: “To celebrate their fans’ devotion over the years, they are providing them with the perfect holiday gift – a brand new holiday release.”

Jason: I see it’s on Saguaro Road Records. “Saguaro” is Spanish for “washed-up.”

Jeff: Yes, and in the press release, Eddie Levert says “This was one of the fastest records I ever recorded,” as if that’s a good thing. I believe Marc Cohn’s horrible covers album also came out on Saguaro Road. I wonder which is worse?

Jason: O’Jays, because there’s only one of Marc Cohn. There are, what, fifteen O’Jays?

Jeff: Oh! I have some advice from the senior vice president of retail at Saguaro Road Records!

Jason: Uh-oh.

Jeff: ““Turn the fireplace on, pour yourself eggnog and enjoy The O’Jays this holiday season with a brand new album of classic songs, along with two newly written soon-to-be classics.”

Jason: First of all, God, I hope one of the soon-to-be-classics is “Let’s Keep That Christmas Feeling.” Second of all, “Turn the fireplace on”?

Jeff: Him work for Saguaro Road, Jason! Him no understand how fire work!

Jason: Clearly he no understand how fire work, otherwise he fire O’Jays.

Jeff: rimshot
harmonica solo
wipes tear from eye
Ahh, I hate you, John Popper.

Okay, let’s find out — to pinch a phrase from Jack Feerick — how bad this can be. It’s been 19 years since you recorded a holiday album, O’Jays. Has time been kind?

Jason: Holy shit, has it really been 19 years?

Jeff: According to the press release from which I have been cutting and also pasting!

Jason: I feel old. And also nauseous.

Jeff: Awww yeah, baby.

Jason: Okay, let’s just do this.

Jeff: Which song are we going to get down to?

Jason: How about “I’m What You Want This Christmas”? Because I already disagree with the title. Vehemently.

Jeff: That’s just disgusting. Sounds perfect.

The O’Jays — I’m What You Want This Christmas (download)

From Christmas With the O’Jays

Jason: Hey, that’s kind of nice.

Jeff: Okay, this is kind of pretty.

Jason: Strings, a nice, slightly scratchy voice…

Jeff: Although…

Jason: Oh no. Oh shit.

Jeff: Oof.

Jason: We’re being sexed up, Jeff!

Jeff: “Tell Santa what you want / Make your wish”

Jason: TURN IT OFF! TURN IT OFF!

Jeff: He just said “the gift that keeps on giving”!
“Everybody wants one / We all gotta get some”!

Jason: STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP

Jeff: Wow, this is SHAMELESS. And wow, do the O’Jays not sound good.

Jason: Aren’t the O’Jays all approximately a million years old?
“Let me supply your needs!” Oh God!

Jeff: They’re not too old to supply your needs all year, Jason. Lay your lovin’ on them.

Jason: I mean, I couldn’t handle this shit from Keith Sweat. Why would I be able to handle it from his grandparents?

Jeff: This is dire. I think I just heard someone’s dentures fall out.
“Don’t need no batteries.” Oh my God.

Jason: I think he just referenced his penis as being “unbreakable.”

Jeff: And also said it has a warranty! Whoa, I think the lead singer just pooped!

Jason: I did too.

Jeff: I kind of like that electric piano. I’d like to hear more of it.

Jason: Yeah, the Wurlitzer is nice. But that is absolutely the only thing I like about this song. Ugh. Just imagine your grandfather breaking this song out.

Jeff: I’m actually imagining Rob Smith breaking it out, because he can’t say no.

Jason: I think the lead singer is having a heart attack.

Jeff: I would love to find out what would happen if Rob Smith tried to play this for his wife Christmas Eve.

Jason: I’d only want to know if he played it earnestly, like he was really trying to sex her up. Wait, hang on. I don’t want to know that either.

Jeff: This is one of the most revolting songs I’ve ever heard.

Jason: Wow. For you to say such a thing means it must really be awful.

Jeff: Don’t you agree? That was powerful skeevy.

Jason: I’m trying to think if it’s creepier than Wilie and Jessica.

Jeff: I think even Donald Fagen would be creeped out by that song.

Jason: I don’t think it’s creepier than Willie and Jessica, because there’s nobody young in the O’Jays. But man, does it come close.

Jeff: I think it’s creepier, because there are three of them.

Jason: I think I need to take three showers.

Jeff: That isn’t what you need.

Jason: Don’t tell me what I need.

Jeff: The O’Jays are what you need.

Jason: Fuck.

Jeff: For Christmas, and all year.

Jason: I want to hit you.

Jeff: No you don’t, because I just threw up on my shirt.

Jason: If I had one wish to make this Mellowmas season, it would be for every one of our listeners to hear this song when they’re in the bedroom with someone.

Jeff: Man, I would love that. Can you all try it, and share your experiences here in the comments with us?

Jason: …I think it’s just you and me here, Jeff. Everybody else has left.

Jeff: I dare each of you to play this for your significant other and try and hold a straight face for 10 seconds.

Jason: And an erection.

Jeff: I will give bonus points if a fire and a bearskin rug are involved, but only if the fire has been turned on.

Jason: Hang on, I’m looking up Saguaro Road on Google Maps. I know exactly what I want to send those guys for Christmas.

Jeff: Ooh! Can I chip in?

Jason: All you need is a brown bag and a match!

Jeff: Count me in!

About the Author

Jeff Giles and Jason Hare

Two people, separate rooms Trying to hurt the other Bound together by destiny Is there nothing they won’t do? Will we never see them through?

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