The Xmas Factor

It might not even be November yet but already the best are coming in fast for this year’s Christmas no.1. It was around this time last year that Gary Jules started getting noticed and eventually went on to save us from a Christmas covered in Darkness, covered in Darkness. So who is going to save us from this depressing list of current contenders?

Ronan Keating & Cat Stevens – Father And Son

Ronan has re-covered some of his old Boyzone hit covers for his greatest hits album, including Father And Son. Then someone had the ‘genius’ idea of releasing it as a Christmas single and now it’s leading the bets for Xmas no.1. So that’ll be something to switch off for at the end of TOTP on Xmas day.

Robbie Williams – Misunderstood

This is Robbie’s new single from the soundtrack of the Bridget Jones sequel, another Angels wannabe and although I haven’t dared to listen to it yet, the reports I’ve heard haven’t been very kind. So it’s a huge contender.

Ricky Gervais & Noel Gallagher – Free Love Freeway

I’ve never actually watched the whole of the Office Xmas special but I believe this is the song David Brent released as a single in the show and this is a new version featuring the slightly less hateful Gallagher brother and taken from the newly-released DVD. If this had been released a year ago I think it would have had more chance – even the Office doesn’t have the power to make a Christmas no.1 out of a comedy song from a year old show.

Nadia Almada – A Little Bit Of Action

Nadia is of course the winner of Big Brother 5 who is having a go at getting a Christmas hit off the back of her win. Clearly she wasn’t in England 4 years ago when Craig tried and failed very miserably at the same task. A career in DIY TV shows awaits!

Bo Selecta – Soda Pop/I’ve Got You Babe

Does anyone even watch Bo Selecta anymore? Last year’s single was reasonably fun if only for the Sneddon spotting, but unless Soda Pop is in fact a cover of Britney’s early days duet with megastar then this is going to flop massively.

Band Aid 3 – Do They Know It’s Christmas

The original DTKIC is quite likeable for an overplayed festive charity single and still manages to rouse some catchy cheeriness and “save those poor little children” sentiment. BA2 had a certain charm in that the ensemble was made up of 80s brilliantly crap pop wannabes. Bob Geldof himself asked for the pop stars featured to be those loved by the kids cos that is who he wanted to buy the single. So why exactly do the acts rumoured for involvement in BA3 include Chris Martin and Travis? Even the inclusion of Will Young and Jamelia won’t gain my support.

X Factor Winner – TBA

The single release by the winner of the X Factor talent show has been cleverly timed to come out just in time for Christmas…but is this so clever after all? Sales may well be higher than if it came out at the beginning of ’05 but the chart is a much more competitive place at Christmas time so this plan could result in no number one singles for any X Factor contestants, and with the top 8 being full of novelty acts the chances of any having a proper career are very low. However, the rumour is that the single will be written and produced by the Gods at Xenomania, so this could be a good single even if not a popular one. Plus, something resembling Cher’s Believe could make Rowetta a superstar for life.

Kylie Minogue – I Believe In You

This one is the best by far of the songs that I’ve actually heard. It’s Kylie’s Scissor Sisters-produced single from her new album Ultimate Kylie. It may not be exactly what you’d expect from a Kylie/SS collaboration (much more slow and whistful) but it’s just as brilliant and gorgeously electro. Her voice sounds great on the track with talky bits and long high notes. This deserves to be Christmas no.1 but I don’t think it really has the festive qualities. It’s far too sophisticated. The Kylie portrayed in this song is way above fighting for a number one single.

So on that note, I may well just close my eyes and ears now and wait til January when in a moment of pure brilliance, Hanson have decided to make a comeback with a very ace single. Hooray!

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