Hurts - 'All I Want For Christmas Is New Year's Day'
Poise and mystique are wonderful: more useful to a pop star's life than towels and hot honey drinks.
Sometimes Hurts appear to have struck a deal in which they exchange everything other acts rely on - colour photography, songs about clubs, amazing choruses - for extra helpings of statuesque and aloof. It's not a bad deal, but it does set a high bar for their music to leap over. Unfortunately, as far as these flappy ears can work out, their output thus far has struggled to do much more than knock the thing onto the crashmat with its face, and then, before anyone can giggle, blusteringly pretend that this is what was supposed to happen all along.
There has, however, been something of a penny-drop happening around this song. I'm starting to get what some of the fuss around Hurts might be about.
Apart from the poise and mystique stuff, obv. That was always great from the get-go.
(Here's the video. It's a swan wake.)
It's partly that this really does have an amazing chorus, and on a Christmas single to boot. Great Christmas singles need to have amazing choruses, if only because so many of the poorer ones seem to come from a decision to make a festive hit at any cost, not from a good idea for a song.
It's also partly because there is no better time to put out a mournful, dignified song about feeling slightly left out of a party, than right now. You get to throw in the tubular bells, the sleighbells, the twinkling piano and the booming drums, and all of that mournful huffing, and it sounds both magical and deep.
And if you know your Christmas pop, that piano is the key to things. It is repetitive and insistent, driving and fizzy, not unlike the piano in Bruce Springsteen's astonishing version of 'Santa Claus is Coming To Town'. Which means it tips the nod towards one of the best Christmas songs ever ever ever.
To have all that joy as a backdrop, and then set off on a long lonesome journey through the happiest and most sociable time of the year, and then to arrive under the banner of a funny title...well that's the glitter on the ribbon on the wrapping paper on the expensive present, right there.
Buzzin Pop Music says: "Happy yet dark and with a nostalgic Christmas feel"
Popjustice says: "Massive chorus, job done"