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Five Chinese Brothers

A Window Shopper's Christmas – 1997 (1-800-Prime CD)

Reviewed by Brian Wahlert

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CDs by Five Chinese Brothers

Starting with the CD's cover drawing of a pawn shop with "open Christmas Eve" taped up in its window and ending with the final track, "Christmas in Manhattan," this is one of the tackiest, wackiest, most fun Christmas albums in recent memory.

Oh sure, the Brothers get momentarily serious for an electric-guitar rendition of "O Little Town of Bethlehem," but it's hard to take anything seriously when it's placed between an ode to "the Christmas gift that keeps on giving" called "The Fruitcake Song" and a song about the seasonal employee who "wiped toddler puke off his red velvet suit" and started the "Dept. Store Santa Claus Strike." "Where other girls wore clothes, she wore just Christmas bows," a kid sings in "Missing Miss December," about a centerfold found under his older brother's bed.

A lonely man contemplates hanging himself with the Christmas wreath in "And to All a Good Night" but is saved when he turns on the TV. Stylistically, they range from bluegrass to classic rock, but lyrically the 5 Chinese Brothers are nothing but hilarity.