Arts Desk

The Sleigher: Rufus Wainwright and Sharon Van Etten, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

HO HO WHO: Rufus Wainwright and Sharon Van Etten pair up for the date-rape-iest holiday duet ever to grace a piano bar.

SO REALLY I'D BETTER SCURRY: This straightforward version of the wintertime classic doesn't veer from the prototypical: straightforward piano accompaniment, sultry harmonies, playful-if-potentially-menacing back-and-forth vocals.

MAYBE JUST A HALF A DRINK MORE: Van Etten, channeling Norah Jones, sounds divine on this track, and Wainwright starts off the song in a really low register that's intriguingly different from his normal tenor. By the song's final verse, though, he's shifted back into that familiar higher vocal territory, which has the interesting effect of making it seem like there are two men trying to get Van Etten to stick around for the evening. I don't think Rufus Wainwright intended for this version of the song to come off as an invitation to a threesome, but a girl can dream.

CHEER FACTOR: 8/10. A solid retread by two vocalists whose harmonies might justify waiting just a little longer to head out into the storm. (That said, be careful if they offer you a drink.)

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