Reviews: Mariah Carey on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon


Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” can be heard everywhere during the holiday season, but you’ve never seen it performed like this before. Backstage before Tuesday night’s taping of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Carey, her host and his backing band, the Roots, put a quirky spin on the pop star’s holiday hit by performing the song using classroom instruments. Adding to the adorable factor: a quartet of kids who pop up occasionally to sing backup. Even with the unusual additions of a ukulele and xylophone, the song came together in delightful harmony. The Christmas tune is hard to improve upon, but Carey and friends might have created a brand new instant classic.

Who needs chestnuts and an open fire when something this heartwarming is available to stream over and over again until your clicker finger is reduced to a coal-like nub? Last night, backstage before taping Tuesday’s episode of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, the show’s lovable host and the best house band on television (the Roots, duh) scraped together a bunch of toy instruments and went in on a cover of Mariah Carey’s awesome Christmas anthem, “All I Want for Christmas Is You”. Except that after Fallon delivered the opening line, Carey herself sat down on the piano bench next to him and (thankfully) took over singing duties. There were other surprises, too, like the totes adorbs four-child choir that pops up to add overdubs every so often, the chuckle that Carey lets out at the 3:08 mark, and the fact that ?uestlove is playing a wooden clacker with his afro pick. The song is already one of the few latter-day holiday jams that deserves to be in heavy rotation amongst the classics, and if this version doesn’t fill your soul stocking with all kinds of happy stuff then may your real stocking stay empty when Santa flies over.

The rendition Mariah performed on last night’s Fallon, alongside Jimmy Fallon, the Roots, and a chorus of actual children, is by far the best spin put on this thing since the Phil Spector-inspired original. Few people could pull off the classroom-instrument arrangement with the grace of the “eternally 12” Mariah, and if there’s any perfect time to act like a child, surely it is Christmas.

New York Daily News
It may not qualify for a Grammy nomination this week, but an early contender for Christmas song of the year has emerged… The star of the song was Carey herself, whose smooth pipes managed to even soar over Mark Kelley’s Fisher Price xylophone. Since its debut in 1994, the song has become entrenched in the canon of all-time great Christmas songs – and spawned covers by Michael Buble and Justin Bieber.

E! Online
Can you say “adorable”?! Mariah Carey made a surprise guest appearance on Tuesday night’s episode of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and was all smiles as she led the funnyman in a cheerful rendition of her signature holiday classic, “All I Want for Christmas Is You”. The pair were accompanied by The Roots, who played on children’s classroom instruments, as well as a chorus of kids, who popped up in the foreground right in front of the camera. Jimmy sang the uptempo ditty’s opening line before letting the American Idol judge do the rest, while he played along with a tambourine and a kazoo. What a way to ring in the holiday!

LA Times
Sometimes words are unnecessary, so skip the rest of this paragraph and click above for instant joy. The messengers? Jimmy Fallon, Mariah Carey and the Roots, who got together prior to Carey’s appearance on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” to do a version of “All I Want for Christmas Is You”. The version is wonderful, and will light up the blackened hearts of the Grinchiest souls.

Rolling Stone
Jimmy Fallon roped the Roots into playing a quirky version of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” with Mariah Carey last night on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, performing the song on kid-sized toy instruments including xylophone, bongos, rattlers, wood blocks and more. A chorus of children chime in on background vocals and Carey takes it home with her untouchable voice.

Last night, Jimmy Fallon’s “Music Room” schtick got better when Fallon and company welcomed Mariah Carey and her adorable children’s choir for what has to be the cutest rendition of Mimi’s modern classic “All I Want For Christmas is You” ever performed.

Ummm, do we know whose brilliant idea it was to have Mariah Carey, Jimmy Fallon, and The Roots perform Mariah’s classic “All I Want For Christmas Is You” using only children’s instruments? We’d like to send them a bouquet of flowers and maybe find some way to rig the lottery so they’d win every time, because this video is the gift that just keeps on giving! This video is definitely the highlight of the season, once more for emphasis, The Roots, Jimmy Fallon, and Mariah Carey singing “All I Want For Christmas Is You” – with children’s instruments. One of which is very similar to this stunning plastic mini xylophone. We’ll never be over it. Mariah Carey appeared on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” starring in what we now will call “our favorite Christmas movie ever”.

Move over DMX, because this just might be the best holiday song of 2012.

CNN’s The Marquee Blog
Carey nailed her performance note for note, and was backed up by her band and an adorable kid quartet.

USA Today
What’s better than a recording of Mariah Carey singing her neo-classic carol All I Want For Christmas Is You? Having her belt it out in person, obviously. The star dropped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to help the comedian and his house band, The Roots, with their rendition of the hit song. Even better, the crew was joined by a quartet of school-age kids who did a pretty impressive job on background vocals!

It’s Christmas time again, so you know what that means: Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ is going to be playing everywhere you go. There’s nothing wrong with that, but Jimmy Fallon recently put a new twist on a familiar tradition. He invited Carey, The Roots and four adorable caroling children to sing a new version of the song, and it’s awesome. There’s even a kazoo!

Entertainment Weekly
Give those Pandora and Spotify holiday playlists a break and turn to Jimmy Fallon, Mariah Carey, and The Roots for your morning cup of (non-alcoholic! or not) cheer. With classroom musical instruments and holiday sweaters in tow, a glamorously gown-clad Carey (you didn’t think she’d seriously wear a sweater, did you?) joined the gang for a playful rendition of ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ yesterday on Late Night… The adorable children singing background and Carey’s breathy high notes make the video irresistible. I don’t know about you, but I’m taking a chug of eggnog anytime Carey sings that song on national television. Mariah early Christmas, everyone!

Huffington Post
As usual, she sounded impeccable. Maybe she can grace the American Idol audience with those world-class pipes of hers.

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