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Julian Casablancas Wishes You a Merry Christmas, Saturday Night Live–Style

We’ve been spending quality time with Julian Casablancas’s solo debut, Phrazes for the Young since its release yesterday, and we have not been disappointed! Of the eight proper songs, we really only don’t like “Tourist.” (Plus, it’s about 38 minutes long, which leaves plenty of time for Sherri re-runs.) There are also three bonus tracks, one of which — a cover of the original SNL song “I Wish It Was Christmas Today,” first performed by Jimmy Fallon, Horatio Sanz, Tracy Morgan, and Chris Kattan in ugly holiday sweaters — might be the best thing here (seriously!). Casablancas drops the tinny ukulele and drum-machine backbeat and switches up the lyrics just enough to make his version not a joke: It’s a streamlined rocker making an honest bid at joining the super-exclusive “good Christmas songs written since 1957” club (it’s pretty much just Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” right now). His impassioned yelps are enough to bring that early Christmas cheer into even our fully Jewish heart.

Stream "I Wish It Was Christmas Today"
at MySpace.com [Pitchfork]

Photo: Julian Casablancas courtesy Getty Images; candy-cane courtesy Wikipedia