George Michael / Wham!

Last Christmas [The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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Last Christmas is a seasonal romantic comedy loosely based on the 1984 Wham! hit of the same name which is the reason why its accompanying soundtrack is effectively something of a hits collection for George Michael and Wham! Not that all of Michael's big songs are here. Pointedly, his sexier moments -- "Father Figure," "Careless Whisper" -- are nowhere to be found and neither are such exuberant Wham! hits as "I'm Your Man" or "Freedom." This leaves Last Christmas strictly in a sweet, sentimental lane, one that takes the occasional good-spirited silly detour (karaoke favorites "Faith" and "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" are both here). By design, this leans heavily on Michael's work from the '90s, including Older -- an album that was a smash everywhere but the U.S. -- and that does tip the scale slightly toward sophisticated upscale music, which also suits the Emilia Clarke-starring Paul Fieg film just fine. For Michael diehards, there is one reason to get the album: the previously unreleased "This Is How (We Want You to Get High)," a nuanced Latin-tinged soul number dating from Michael's last years. Equal parts confessional and inspiration, "This Is How (We Want You to Get High)" doesn't quite jibe with the vibe of the rest of Last Christmas, but it's a nice little gift for Michael fans still in mourning.

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