One of the Better Alt-Rock Xmas Offerings: El-viz Navidad!
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The musicians who were credited on Instant Excitement also serve as the Chris Stamey Group on the delightful Christmas Time mini-album; the dB's back him on the Brian Wilson-like title track. The original songs are all seasonal: "The Only Law That Santa Claus Understood," "You're What I Want (for Christmas)," "Snow Is Falling," even a new acoustic version of the unexpectedly appropriate "It's a Wonderful Life." The reissue has a different cover photo from the same session (see Chris crinkled in laughter!/see Chris betray the faintest Mona Lisa smile!) and 11 added tracks (but one deletion). Among those bringing extra presents, Alex Chilton sings Mel Tormé's "The Christmas Song" and, as Big Star with drummer Jody Stephens, his own "Jesus Christ." The dB's do Jose Feliciano's "Feliz Navidad," while Holsapple renders "O Holy Night" on his own. Syd Straw gets off a good pun covering Blondie's "(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presents, Dear." A warm, spirited winner - the more the merrier. - Ira Robbins, Trouser Press"