Fresh from starring as the town drunk - no typecasting here! - in "Rio Bravo", Dean was at the height of his popularity when he entered the Capitol studios in the summer of 1959 to record his first Christmas-themed album for the label. But it wasn?t "quite" a Christmas album; though ?White Christmas? and ?Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer? show up here, most of the record is given over to songs more suitable for snuggling in the snow. Even the cover showing Dino eyeing two snow bunnies served notice that this was not your father's holiday album...and, as such, this one goes down smooth all year long.
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Fine Dean Martin album of wintertime tunes--and a bit more
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 01/17/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A Winter Romance is an excellent theme song album put out by Dean Martin and Capitol Records when Dean was beginning to wind down his commitments to Capitol. The theme, naturally, is winter and all that goes with winter; and Dean truly never sounded better. This is a must have for Dean Martin fans!
"A Winter Romance" starts off the album with a lush arrangement; Dean sounds great as he croons this awesome number. I also like how the backup vocalists harmonize to perfection; and Dean is able to make his voice sound as romantic as ever. "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" features Dean singing a more traditional ballad related to wintertime; and Dean's excellent diction bolsters his performance. The flute sounds great and Dean never misses a note! Moreover, listen for "I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm." Awesome! Dean sings this wonderfully; in fact he sings this so well I wish the musical accompaniment had been simpler to highlight Dean's singing even more.
"Winter Wonderland" is another classic wintertime ballad and Dean's interpretation of this fine wintertime tune is quite fine. The backup vocalists again harmonize well and Dean makes "Winter Wonderland" an especially adorable tune as he sings it. "Baby, It's Cold Outside" shines like gold as Dean delivers this to perfection; and the women backup vocalists play the role of the woman Dean romances in this song. Again the flute is used very well.
"White Christmas" gets the royal treatment from Dean Martin as he performs this classic melancholy number that almost sounds upbeat when you hear this arrangement. I like how Dean and the musicians are able to put a positive, upbeat flavor onto this somewhat sad number--it's very creative and it works very well. "Sogni D'oro" is another fantastic ballad that Dean croons like the pro he always was; and the CD ends with "Buttercup Of Golden Hair." This upbeat number makes you smile when you hear it and it will also leave you wanting to listen to this album over and over again.
Another reviewer writes that the last three songs on this album do not fit in with the wintertime theme--and they are right. This new album also omits the song entitled "Christmas Blues." Oops! However, which version of this album you choose is up to you. If you want a few extra numbers and it doesn't bother you that Dean strays from the wintertime theme, then go for this album. However, wintertime and Christmas music purists will probably be more comfortable with the older version from 1994 that is also for sale on this website.
I'll take off a star for the fact that the last three songs on this CD simply don't fit in at all with the wintertime theme. However, they are excellent songs performed wonderfully by Dean Martin. You may like this over the 1994 version of this album. At any rate, I hope you get this or the older version and just enjoy it!
Awesome winter sampler
C. D. | Twin Cities, MN | 11/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"LOL, there's nothing like a little Dean for Christmas. I like this album because it's a winter album more than a Christmas one, though. As soon as the snow starts flying, I toss it in my CD player in the the truck and soak in the fun. I admit the reason I listen to it is because I'm hooked on Baby It's Cold Outside, Canadian Sunset and a few others. Several of the others on the album are entertaining, but not as engaging. Around Christmas time, I start switching this up with a little Nat King Cole (sung by his daughter), and it seems the combination of the two just makes the season perfect. In a time when you are hard pressed to hear something refreshing and unoffensive on the radio, this really hits the spot. As for "Christmas Blues," I agree that it's a Christmas song,and would fit the theme, but I recall having this earlier version and often just fast forwarding this one because I didn't want to listen to the downbeat message. It's your choice - 1994 or this newer version - might be a toss up for you. Opting out of the whining and getting a few extra songs in return seemed like a no brainer for me."