Dean Martin's first two albums for Reprise Records, after spending 13 years at Capitol Records, demonstrate that his reason for switching labels had more to do with his friendship with Frank Sinatra, who had left Capitol to found Reprise, than with any musical considerations. These two records were not noticeably different from others he had made earlier. True, Capitol had not sufficiently exploited him as an albums artist, issuing only five Martin LPs of new material between 1955 and 1960. But French Style and Dino Latino are not superior to those releases. The former, boasting charts by conductor Neal Hefti, naturally calls upon songs concerned with France, particularly Paris, while the latter, arranged and conducted by Don Costa, looks to Spain and Latin America for subject matter. Martin may have been known for his close ties to Italy, but he had no trouble mixing French and Spanish with his easygoing English on vintage songs, some of them authentic, others originating no closer to Europe or South America than Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood. Martin's characteristic sense of humor is on display here and there, but for the most part he simply renders the songs in his usual relaxed style. The glut of releases of Martin material in 1962 (in addition to these two albums, Capitol also unloaded the singer's last two new LPs, Dino! Italian Love Songs and Cha-Cha de Amor) actually increased his record sales, and he enjoyed his first two showings on the album charts. But, so far, Reprise did not seem to have any new concept of how to record or market him.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann