Christmas songs. Lots of Christmas songs. That’s pretty much what December in K-pop entails – especially this year. Usually, the month will open with a few big-name releases before devolving into wintery fare, but I think the World Cup has pushed most new comebacks to next year. SM Entertainment seems particularly festive this December, blitzing the market with three holiday releases in a row. This holly jolly assault opens with Beautiful Christmas, which brings together Red Velvet and aespa.
Red Velvet and aespa, you say? That’s a lethal combination. When these two teams meet, we’re sure to get big vocals and quirky production. And with SM’s strong track record of Christmas music (this Red Velvet song has become a seasonal classic for me), it feels like Beautiful Christmas can’t miss.
The song is certainly energetic. Like NMIXX’s Funky Glitter Christmas last month, Beautiful Christmas takes a more freeform approach. It’s big and bold and feels like it should be performed on the stage at the Macy’s parade. It’s a little too exclamatory for my taste – way too much nursery rhyme-esque sing-talk without a melody I can really sink my teeth into. It’s hard not to compare the track to Girls’ Generation TTS’s Dear Santa mini album, which married this energy to stronger songs. Beautiful Christmas is at its best when it references past holiday tracks and swerves into jazzier territory. This lets the ladies showcase their powerhouse vocals while adding theatrical flair to the festive sound. But overall, the song is likely to miss my “top tier K-pop Holiday” playlist.