Jason: Oh look, another package on my doorstep!

Jeff: Oooh! Who’s it addressed to?


Jeff: leprechaun dance

Jason: “Jason Bieber Hare.” The only thing that makes me happy is knowing that every time you use it, your kids have less money for college.

Jeff: Shit, by the time my kids are old enough for college, America won’t even have roads. I’m spending it all now.

Jason: I need to call Amazon and have them suspend your “one-click” settings. It always leads to heartache.

Jeff: I think you mean “hilarity.”

Jason: Like today, for example.

Jeff: Yes, speaking of hilarity, how about this package?

Jason: Carole King: A Holiday Carole.

Carole King, "A Holiday Carole"

Jeff: I can’t believe this didn’t happen sometime in the ’80s. How is she just now making a holiday album?

Jason: I was just about to say the same thing. A Carole King holiday album in the ’70s? I would have been all over that shit.

Jeff: Oh, that would have been wonderful. And in the ’80s, it would have been wonderfully cheesy. Now? Ehhhhhh. Although the album cover is sort of promising, in a sad Mellowmas way.

Jason: The front cover is like a frame, and on the back is a little cardboard cut-out stand for the frame.

Jeff: Look at her face. It’s like she’s shrugging and saying “Eh. What are you gonna do?”

Jason: And then she gave the cover to her 15-year-old nephew, who’s just learning Photoshop.

Jeff: I love that it comes with a cut-out stand. Have you stood it up on your desk? Or — even better — your nightstand?

Jason: I should leave it on my wife’s side of the bed. “Hi! I’m Carole King. Merry Christmas!”

Jeff: I love the thought of you rolling over for a drink of water in the middle of the night and seeing Carole King’s half-ashamed smile in your face.

Jason: Oh, look. It’s produced by Goffin!

Jeff: Yes, it’s a family affair. At least one Kunkel was involved, too.

Jason: (Louise Goffin.) sad trombone

Jeff: I’m always sort of intrigued when Jewish artists release holiday albums. A little less intrigued when Carole King does it, as it turns out, but still. She could be part of a Happy Hebrew Holidays package tour with Kenny G and Neil Diamond.

Jason: That’s one sad tour, buddy.

Jeff: Oh, indeed. What’s that venue Air Supply always plays at by your house? It would make its New York stop there.

Jason: Westbury Music Fair! Oh, for sure. So let’s see what Carole has to offer, shall we?

Jeff: The ragged remnants of a once-proud singing voice? Oh, wait, you didn’t mean that.

Jason: Let’s listen to “Carol of the Bells.” She already gets a point in my book for not turning the song title into a name pun like she did with the album. Although I do like the idea of her name being in every song title.

“Have Yourself a Carole Little Christmas.”

Jeff: I know, right?

Jason: “Do You Carole What I Carole.”

“Everyday Will Be Like a Caroleday.”

Jeff: “Santa Claus Is Coming to Carole.”

Jason: And, of course, “Carolekkah Prayer.”

This song is short. It might be over too quickly. We might need a second song.

Jeff: I don’t think you mean what you’re saying. Let’s just get Carole’s Carol over with first.

Carole King — Carole of the Bells (download)
Carole King, "A Holiday Carole"
From A Holiday Carole

Jason: Piano sounds nice.

Wait, what? Well, that’s obnoxious.

Jeff: Those voices were kind of creepy, weren’t they?

Jason: But I know what I’m buying Carole for Hanukkah this year: A pop filter.

Jeff: Yeah, I noticed that! She sounds out of breath, like Wing.

Jason: Maybe she recorded the vocals from her bed.

Jeff: Ding, ding dong ding!


Jason: (Ding!) (Dong!)

Jeff: This used to be one of my favorite holiday songs.

Jason: Whoa, there was some attempt at soulful backing vocals for a second there. Here they come again!

Jeff: This is a lot creepier than I would have thought it could be. That was all kinds of ominous.

Jason: We should run a contest for our readers: how many miles separated Carole and the backing musicians? I’m guessing at least 250.

Jeff: You think? I still imagine that she does everything live in the studio. But that’s probably naive.

Jason: Look, the version is creepy and weird, I’ll give you that, but there’s no excuse for that kind of vocal production.

Jeff: No, I agree with you. It makes me wonder if maybe Carole knows something about the history of this song that we don’t.

Jason: How so?

Jeff: I mean, she sings it like she’s running away from something horrible. I don’t know. Maybe it was written after someone was murdered by bells?

Jason: Gerry Goffin? Is he still alive?

Jeff: I don’t know my Goffins from my Bayer Sagers.

Jason: Oh wait, no. That’s Jim Nabors I’m thinking of.

Jeff: Apparently “Carol of the Bells” has its roots in a Ukranian folk chant or something. Maybe that’s what Carole was channeling here. Ukranians are pretty frightening.

Jason: I think we owe it to ourselves to listen to a holiday original, don’t you?

Jeff: I think I owe myself a beer. Wait, there are original songs on this thing?

Jason: “Christmas Paradise,” co-written by Goffin!

(Louise Goffin.)

Jeff: I’m imagining something 38 Special would have recorded for a Revenge of the Nerds Christmas movie. In my head, it sounds awesome.

Jason: Haven’t we heard 38 Special do Christmas music? A Wild-Eyed Christmas Night, remember?

Jeff: We have! Their Christmas album has a giant eyeball on it.

Jason: Yes! It was a better cover than this record!

Jeff: I want to say you’re wrong, but I can’t. I guess the only thing left to do is listen to “Christmas Paradise.”

Carole King — Christmas Paradise (download)
Carole King, "A Holiday Carole"
From A Holiday Carole

Jeff: Oh God.

Jason: sigh

Jeff: Come on. Why? Why do people do this? And why are they always old white people?

Jason: By people, do you mean them recording it, or us listening to it?

Jeff: This should have been called “Christmas at Sandals.” And Carole should punch her daughter in the babymaker for letting those vocals out of the studio.

Jason: “A Very Club Med Christmas.”

Jeff: No crackling fire or chestnuts roasting, but Carole has plenty of clams!

Jason: “With Carole King and Special Guest Bette Midler.”

Jeff: Oof. I mean oy vey!

Steel drums! This is absolutely dreadful.

Jason: I just can’t imagine ever wanting to hear it more than once.

Jeff: I can’t imagine wanting to hear it AT ALL.


Jason: Who are those guys?

Jeff: Break out the patois, Carole! I want to shove dirty flip-flops in everyone’s mouth.

Jason: She didn’t do too bad on that one high note. I want them all to get Montezuma’s Revenge.

Jeff: Oh, fuck all this. Fuck every note of this. Horrible, just horrible.

Jason: “James, do you want to guest on my album?” “No, I’m good.”

Jeff: So apparently the album features “vocal contributions” from Carole’s grandson, who probably couldn’t say no on account of how Grandma is paying for college.

As shitty and lame as that song is, I can totally imagine plenty of retirees bringing it along for their holiday timeshare vacations.

Jason: “Unlike previous albums released by King, none of the songs were written or co-written by her.” How much do you want to bet Carole herself added that to her Wikipedia page?

Jeff: spit take

Jason: “I just want to put this out there.”

Jeff: I can imagine some resort using this to promote AARP-friendly vacations. Carole on the beach in the commercial, wearing some neon t-shirt with a logo on it. Everyone grinning and waving drinks.


Jason: Dave Lifton.

Jeff: second spit take

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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