Dean Martin

A Winter Romance

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A Winter Romance is perhaps best described as a "seasonal" album rather than a Christmas or holiday release, despite the inclusion of such familiar fare as "White Christmas" and "Winter Wonderland." Dean Martin has also included such standards as "The Things We Did Last Summer" and "June in January," as well as some specially written material such as Sammy Cahn and Ken Lane's title song and "It Won't Cool Off." Nevertheless, with its lush strings, well-scrubbed vocal choruses, and buoyant mood, this collection has an appropriately festive feel. Martin does a competent job, even having fun here and there when the song allows him to present his take on a similar baritone (Bing Crosby on "White Christmas"; Vaughn Monroe on "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!"), or when the subject matter strays to something more comfortably suggestive like "Baby, It's Cold Outside" (performed with a female vocal chorus instead of a single female duet partner). All of which is to say that Martin makes the best of the situation without doing anything special with it. [Some reissues add one track, "Christmas Blues," recorded in 1953.]

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