If you think you know this classic holiday bop, prepare to think again.
Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" is many wonderful things. It's a terrific up-tempo tune for bellowing in the car with your dance friends on the way to Nutcracker rehearsal. It's the perfect accompaniment to many a hilarious viral video. And now, it's the melancholy backdrop to all the lonelier feels the holiday season can bring.
Way back in September, indie songstress Ingrid Michaelson released a slowed-down, strings-heavy duet version of the well-known track. Last week, the video debuted—and it'd be the understatement of the season to say that it's making us see the song in a whole new light.
In the retro-tinged black-and-white clip, aching vocals from Michaelson and duet partner Leslie Odom, Jr.—who you know as Aaron Burr from Hamilton—are perfectly matched by their dancer alter egos: respectively, contemporary-dance royalty Chantel Aguirre and dancer/model (swoon) Ehizoje Azeke.
As Michaelson told People, "The dancers represent our souls and emotions and their interplay, while Leslie and I are separated by distance. [It] really illustrates this longing in a beautiful way. To me, the song is really about longing for someone who can't be there with you. We stripped it down, added strings and tried to pull the sentiment and emotion to the forefront."
Michaelson's music videos have always been über-creative examples of how to complicate and expand the narrative set by lyrics (Exhibit A and Exhibit B). But with the considerable talent of Stacey Tookey (who choreographed and directed) on board, it's safe to say this one-take (!!) clip is a new creative high. Other musicians, take note: Dancers as committed as Azeke and Aguirre will—with apologies to Mariah—make your [music-video] wish come true.
All we want for Christmaaaaaaaaaaaaas is to watch this over and over again until January 1. (We're not crying; you're crying!)
Ingrid Michaelson - All I Want for Christmas Is You Feat. Leslie Odom Jr. (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com