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“It couldn’t be more festive,” Sir Elton tweeted when he unveiled the promo video yesterday. That is perhaps true of the video, but not the plodding, mid-paced song itself, which takes a maudlin minute-and-a-half to even reach its undercooked chorus. At least the promo film provides some cheesy fun.
Ed dons a revealing Santa outfit that would have looked a whole lot better on Maria Carey, and a strong supporting cast ‑ Michael McIntyre, rock band The Darkness, Jonathan Ross, TV host Big Narstie and Mr Blobby ‑ recreate scenes from previous Christmas classics.
Ed flies through the air with the Walking In The Air snowman, the Darkness impersonate 70s glam greats Wizzard. There’s a nod to Wham’s Last Christmas and East 17’s Stay Another Day.
Yet all of these classics had something Merry Christmas lacks ‑ either energy or poignancy.
There’s no joy in the song and certainly no memorable hook. Heavy airplay may drum this into us but it is decidedly more duff than plum.
The pop star pals might have raised more money for Ed’s charity if they had simply remade Elton’s original festive masterpiece, 1973’s catchy and uplifting platinum-selling Top 10 smash Step Into Christmas.
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