After a healthy buildup of equal parts excitement and scrutiny, John Legend‘s highly anticipated cover of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” featuring Kelly Clarkson is finally here. The single went live at the stroke of midnight on Friday.
Legend’s voice blends beautifully with Clarkson’s as they take on the Christmas classic with a jazzy “consent-friendly” spin.
Despite the mellow feel and dreamy warm vocals carrying the song, the major focus still remains squarely on the lyrics.
Song purists mainly lambasted the “All of Me” singer for heavily revising the part typically sung by the male, including new lines such as “It’s your body and your choice” and “I want you to stay, it’s not up to me.”
The politically correct duet immediately starts with Legend showcasing that there are absolutely no strings attached to Clarkson’s visit.
“I really can’t stay (Baby it’s cold outside)/ I gotta go away (I can call you a ride)” are the first two lines in the heavily retooled track, setting the tone for the rest of their exchange. However, the song does break its serious tone to include a dash of unexpected humor.
“My mama will start to worry (I’ll call a car and tell them to hurry)/ My daddy will be pacing the floor (Wait, what do you still live at home for?)” The lyrics continue, perhaps as a nod to recent statistics showing that nearly one in four millennials still live with their parents.
However, naysayers maintain Legend went too far with his edit. His harshest critic was Deana Martin, daughter of the late Dean Martin, who told Good Morning Britain earlier this week that Legend’s new lyrics made the song even more sexual.
“Baby It’s Cold Outside” is part of John’s deluxe edition of A Legendary Christmas, which is out now.
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