5 Chinese Brothers

A Window Shopper's Christmas

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This is not your typical Christmas album. 5 Chinese Brothers adopt a variety of generic folk, country, and rock & roll song styles and then write new, gently comic, Christmas-themed lyrics over them. For example, "Dept. Store Santa Claus Strike" borrows the talking-blues folk song structure most familiar from Woody Guthrie's "Pretty Boy Floyd" for a tale of Santa's management-labor dispute, while "The Fruitcake Song" borrows the shave-and-a-haircut rhythm of "Bo Diddley" to discuss the persistence of that most inedible of Christmas foods, and "Missing Miss December" is a rock & roll tune about a centerfold. The result is a likable collection that will serve as a change of pace from those Bing Crosby and Mannheim Steamroller records during the holiday season.

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