- Oh Santa!
"Oh Santa!" Single by Mariah Carey from the album Merry Christmas II You Released October 11, 2010 Format CD single, digital download Recorded 2010 Genre Christmas Length 3:31 Label Island Writer(s) Mariah Carey, Jermaine Dupri, Bryan-Michael Cox Producer Mariah Carey, Bryan-Michael Cox, Jermaine Dupri Mariah Carey singles chronology "Angels Cry"
"Oh Santa!" is a pop song by American singer-songwriter Mariah Carey. It was released by Island Records on October 11, 2010 as the lead single from her second Christmas album, Merry Christmas II You (2010). The song was co-written and co-produced by Carey, Jermaine Dupri and Bryan-Michael Cox. The song received mixed to positive reviews from music critics, who praised the musicality of the song, but felt that it was substandard to Carey's iconic Christmas song "All I Want for Christmas is You".
"Oh Santa!" achieved moderate chart success, peaking at the top of the US Billboard Holiday Digital Songs chart and Adult Contemporary chart, as well as managing to peak at number 100 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, while peaking at number 68 on the Japan Hot 100 chart and 73 on the Canadian Hot 100 chart. Carey performed the song on several live televised shows, including her own Christmas television special, entitled "Mariah Carey: Merry Christmas to You". A music video for the song, which was directed by Ethan Lader, was released on November 2, 2010. It portrayed Carey as the host of a fictional Christmas television show.
Background, release and composition
"Oh Santa!" was one of four new songs which Carey co-wrote and co-produced alongside long time collaborators Jermaine Dupri and Bryan-Michael Cox, for her second Christmas album, Merry Christmas II You (2010). The song premiered on AOL on October 1, 2010 and was released via digital download by iTunes on October 11, 2010. According to sheet music published at Musicnotes, "Oh Santa!" is an upbeat pop song which incorporates the musical genres of Christmas, R&B and Dance-pop. The song is written in common time with a moderate tempo of 80 beats per minute and is written in the key of C major, with Carey's vocal range spanning from the low note of G♯3 to the high note of C♯6. Carey also recorded a mix of "Oh Santa!" and her signature christmas song "All I Want for Christmas Is You", entitled "Oh Santa! All I Want for Christmas is You (Jump Smokers Holiday Mashup)", which was made available to download via iTunes on December 17, 2010.
"Oh Santa!" received mixed to positive reviews from music critics, who praised the musicality of the song, but felt that it was substandard to Carey's infamous christmas song "All I Want For Christmas Is You". Bill Lamb of About.com gave the song 4/5 stars, praising Carey's vocal performance, "perky cheerleader chant" and "jazzy, upbeat feel". AOL music said "Mariah Carey's newest song, 'Oh Santa!,' will have people thinking about Christmas even if it's only October." Caryn Ganz of Rolling Stone and Mike DIver of BBC Music both commented on the beat of the song, with Ganz writing "Mariah bops to a schoolyard-chant beat on 'Oh Santa!'," however, even though Diver praised the songs beat, he felt that it was not as good as Carey's signature christmas song "All I Want For Christmas Is You," writing "Oh Santa! is a boisterous RnB bopper that makes perfect sense as this set’s lead single – it’s not in the same league as All I Want…, but it’s sure to warrant revisiting 12 months down the line." A reviewer from Idolator likened "Oh Santa!" to Avril Lavigne's song "Girlfriend", from her album The Best Damn Thing, writing "Presumably, not every track will sound like a North Pole version of Avril Lavigne’s 'Girlfriend' as the boppy “Oh Santa!” does." Sean Fennessey of The Washington Post listed "Oh Santa!" as one of the recommended tracks on the album, along with "Charlie Brown Christmas", as well as writing "There are noble gestures ...'Oh Santa!,' Carey's hyperkinetic, stomping team-up with onetime career-saver Jermaine Dupri and the underrated modern soul maestro Bryan-Michael Cox."
For the week ending October 30, 2010, "Oh Santa!" debuted at number one on the US Billboard Holiday Digital Songs chart, which resulted in Carey occupying the top two positions on the chart, with "All I Want for Christmas Is You" at number two. For the week ending December 11, 2010, "Oh Santa!" debuted at number twelve on the US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart, becoming Carey's highest debut on that chart in her twenty-year career. The song peaked at number one the following week, making it the fastest rise to number one in the history of the chart, and tied Carey with Canadian singer Celine Dion for the most top ten Adult Contemporary hits and became Carey's seventh number one song on the chart. On the dated week of January 1, 2011, the song debuted and peaked at number 100 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Background and synopsis
The music video for "Oh Santa!" was directed by Ethan Lader and was shot in Los Angeles on October 6, 2010. Reports surfaced online that Carey's husband Nick Cannon would be directing the video, however Cannon dispelled the rumors on Twitter, saying "I am NOT directing." The video for "Oh Santa!" premiered on entertainment news program Access Hollywood. Prior to the release of the video, various media outlets speculated that the video was going incorporate the same style seen in Outkast's video for "Hey Ya!", with the singer as the main feature with a large audience. For the video, Carey's fan site MariahDaily, posted a message asking people within the Los Angeles area to appear for a casting call for a chance for be featured in the video.
The video draws influence from 1950s and 1960s variety shows, and features Carey wearing a short, red "sexy Santa" ensemble, whilst on stage with a band, which featured gospel back-in singers as well as a group of dancers, consisting of cheerleaders. The plotline is centered around Carey hosting a "Mariah Carey Christmas" television show. The announcer introduces Carey saying "here she is, the greatest singer of all time, Mrs. Mariah Carey!". The video then shows Carey's backup singers belting out the chorus while the singer is seen performing in front of a cheering audience. Her collection of fragrances is also advertised in the opening. In the second half of the video, Santa Claus makes an appearance, waving to friends and sharing a hug with Carey. The video ends with the singer laughing while the audience cheers and claps for her performance.
Becky Bain of Idolator commented on the simple structure and themes of the video, writing "There’s not much to this simple vid, but it does feature Carey doing her usual hand waving theatrics while hitting some absolutely killer high notes." Bain also observed that the vast majority of the shots of Carey are either long shots, showing the singer from a distance, or close up shots, showing Carey from the shoulders and above, so that the viewer was not able to easily recognise that she was pregnant. Bill Lamb of About.com praised the content of the video, "Following the thoroughly enjoyable retro mood of the entire project ... "Oh Santa!" features old-fashioned home movie footage as well as pleasingly homey clips of the recording process for the song." Nicole James of MTV Buzzworthy also praised the content of the video, writing "Of course it wouldn't be a Mariah Carey video without some glitz and glam so the stage and backdrop are covered in (what else?) glitter. Mariah puts on a great show and sings her heart out with that famous eight-octave range ... scrooges need not apply, 'Oh Santa!' is fun and festive and has you longing for a sip of eggnog."
Carey performed the song for the first time in a pre-recorded performance on November 19, 2010, at NBS's Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting, which aired on November 30, 2011. On December 3, 2010, Carey performed "Oh Santa!" as well as "All I Want For Christmas Is You" at the Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade special, which featured Carey surrounded by dancers, including ballerinas and cheerleaders, and ended with fireworks at the end of the performance. Carey then performed the song as part of a set list on her own one-off Christmas television special, entitled "Mariah Carey: Merry Christmas to You." In addition to performing "Oh Santa!", Carey also performed her cover of "Charlie Brown Christmas" and a medley of "O Come All Ye Faithful/Hallelujah Chorus," featuring her mother, Patricia Carey, as well as various other songs from both of her Christmas albums.
- Digital download
- " Oh Santa" – 3:31
- The Remixes EP
- "Oh Santa!" (Jump Smokers Edit) - 3:53
- "Oh Santa!" (Low Sunday Edit) - 4:09
- "Oh Santa!" (Jump Smokers Extended) - 4:08
- "Oh Santa!" (Low Sunday Club) - 6:16
- "Oh Santa!" (Jump Smokers Instrumental) - 3:52
- "Oh Santa!" (Low Sunday Instrumental) - 6:18
Chart (2010) Peak
Canada (Canadian Hot 100) 73 Japan (Japan Hot 100) 68 US Billboard Hot 100 100 US Adult Contemporary (Billboard) 1 US Holiday Digital Songs (Billboard) 1
Region Date Format Label United States October 1, 2010 Radio Premiere (AOL) Island Records October 11, 2010 Radio airplay October 12, 2010 Digital download United Kingdom October 29, 2010 Mercury Records France Universal Music Group
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