The dB's were one of the great unsung groups of the burgeoning Southern alt-pop scene in the 1980's, and like much of their catalog, this Christmas offering has been largely overlooked over the years. I only discovered it myself a couple of years ago, and I'm glad I did. It apparently started out as an EP, expanded to a full-length album, and more recently was re-released as an expanded version with 21 tracks. The dB's - Chris Stamey and Peter Holsapple - do a fine job with some familiar old tunes as well as new and original ones, and their collection of "friends" is impressive as well: Alex Chilton and Big Star, Marshall Crenshaw, Ryan Adams and Whiskeytown, Don Dixon, et al. There aren't many clinkers here, (Ted Lyons' bizarre "The Only Law that Santa Claus Understood" is one exception). Overall, it's a very enjoyable collection of jangle-pop mixed with a downbeat ballad or two and even a somewhat jazzy arrangement (Don Dixon's version of "I Saw Three Ships"). In short, it's a nice departure from the "same-old same-old" holiday fare.