Jasmine Kara – Dear Mr Santa

“Basically she’s just asking Santa for a plane ticket.”

Tim: In which Jasmine sings a lot about snow, but seemingly doesn’t have the budget to do fake snow in the video. Oh well.

Tom: Sometimes the title of a song puts me off. This is one of those times.

Tom: Huh, that’s actually a half-decent song, despite the constant irritating sleigh bells that never go away once you notice them. You can stop them for a while, producer, we know it’s a Christmas track.

Tim: Now while the lyrics here would traditionally be interpreted as “we broke up, but I wish we were back together” in the standard lovey dovey vibe I mentioned yesterday, it’s apparently meant to be taken more literally – she’s stuck in America, her boyfriend’s in Sweden, and basically she’s just asking Santa for a plane ticket. Not quite as romantic, but thoroughly practical, so I’m fully on board (ha, accidental plane pun) with that.

Tom: It’s got enough “sounds like an old Christmas track” to it, while still being interesting. And those vocals are really, really good.

Tim: Musically I’d never really thought of a Motown-styled Christmas track, but it seems to work nicely, particularly with those vocals you mentioned. So me? I’m two for two, so far.

Tom: Agreed! You’ve sent two decent Christmas songs in a go here, what’s going on? Have my standards changed, or is there good music this year?

Tim: Well, kids, check back tomorrow to find out!

Jasmine Kara – Beautiful World

“That feels like I’m watching someone’s terrible holiday video.”

Tim: This here by Swede Jasmine is a video intended to delight all; it will in fact annoy and delight in roughly equal measure, and I’m roughly 80% annoyed by it. Tom, you probably don’t want to watch this.

Tom: That feels like I’m watching someone’s terrible holiday video.

Tim: This is, I suppose, meant to be a happy song about making the world better, but my word is that an annoying video (filmed, would you believe it, entirely on Jasmine’s phone).

Tom: Oh. I am watching someone’s terrible holiday video.

Tim: There’s a whole load of bullshit in the YouTube description, about how everybody she asked how to make the world a better place answered “we need love”. Now, unless New York has changed enormously since I’ve been there, she’s telling massive lies about the number of people who told her to piss off, but never mind.

I’d like to stop focussing on the negative points of the video, like the OH SO ORIGINAL AND FUNNY ‘Free Hugs’ sign and the several times that John Lennon’s assassination crops up, because it’s a nice track, it really is. But, God, what an awful failure of a video, with the clip of the guy about to propose that cuts off as he gets to being on one knee, or the out of focus shots of people two feet in front of the camera.

Tom: And hey, if you’re going to stop people downloading it off YouTube, why not completely ruin the audio too?

Tim: “Everything we do, we do for love, and everything we see and feel comes from love.” Bloody hell.

Tom: It’s not a bad track, I guess — after a minute or so I just moved it to a background tab — but it’s a bit like candyfloss, all style no substance. I mean, it’s candyfloss sung by someone with a great voice, but… hm. That analogy got away from me.

Tim: Little bit. Never mind. Yes, the video’s a nice idea, but execute it properly, please, because the song is great, and I really really wish the video didn’t ruin it.

Jasmine Kara – Ain’t No More Room

Starts out sounding jolly and bouncy, this does.

Tim: Starts out sounding jolly and bouncy, this does.

Tom: And it keeps sounding jolly and bouncy! What a voice. You know, I reckon I prefer the verses to the chorus here – the simpler instrumentation lets her singing shine out, while the choruses seem a bit overcomplicated and repetitive. It’s strange for me to think that way – but then I’m a big fan of the neo-Motown style of tracks like this.

Tim: It continues in that vein, with none of the violence in the music that the video would imply. There’s a weird contrast there – hearing the music on its own gives a sort of ‘I’d quite like to go out with you, but unfortunately I’m just too busy to fit you in my schedule right now’, with it’s gentle lyrics and pleasant backing that you might hear on Strictly Come Dancing, but watching the video implies a ‘Get the hell out of here and if you come back I’ll kick the shit out of you’ that’s more Come Dine With Me.

Tom: Another strange thought for me: I think the video actually takes something away from the song. I reckon I’d be happy with just the verses and nothing else here.

Tim: And shame on her for chucking that iMac off the balcony – that’s a design classic! Jony Ive’s just been knighted, and she’s treating his products like that. Disgraceful behaviour.

Tom: Thus spake the Apple employee.