It is a dangerous thing to tinker with a holiday classic, but Ariana Grande is a risk taker. Today (Nov. 19), the "Right There" singer released the first of her four Christmas singles, a reworking of Wham's 1984 trademark track "Last Christmas." Produced by Babyface and The Rascals, Grande took the basic framework and chorus of the original "Last Christmas" and built her own new song from its bones.
"I hate that I remember / I wish I could forget / What you did last December / You left my heart a mess / Boy, you blew it / How could you do it," Grande sings at the very start of her "Last Christmas," so you know something is going to be different right off the bat.
Instead of following the traditional verses, which generally fall in line with the scales, ebbs and flows of the chorus, Grande alongside her producers made their own thing. Grande's verses are bouncy and include a more poppy, R&B vibe than the somber traditional "Last Christmas."
Lyrically, Grande also focuses more on the break up aspect of "Last Christmas," asking the boy who broke her heart how dare he leave on Christmas Day. It's pretty melodramatic, but it is a Christmas song.
So, does the reimagining of "Last Christmas" work? In a way, yes. Christmas purists will be livid about Grande's changes, but the song fits both her personality and fanbase better than the original. Hell hath no fury like a tween scorned. This song isn't bound to become a classic like the original or even more traditional covers. But, it will do for 2013.
Listen to Ariana Grande's "Last Christmas" below.
"Last Christmas" is the first of four Christmas songs Ariana Grande is expected to release this year. The rising R&B star first announced her holiday music plans earlier this month after teasing that she was recording Christmas music for weeks and weeks on Twitter.
Grande's second Christmas single "Love Is Everything" is due out Nov. 26.