It seems Dean Martin is another artist people either love or hate. As one in the “Pro-Dino” camp, even I must admit that sometimes his Christmas albums can be a bit too much, with over-the-top shmoozery and shtick. Nevertheless, there’s something to be said for letting Dean Martin blend in the background at your annual holiday cocktail party. This way, the overly casual treatment of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (his name ain’t Rudy!) and his awful attempt at the Germanification of Santa Claus will likely go unnoticed.
You can find many of my favorite Dean Martin Christmas songs on the album Christmas With the Rat Pack, though it appears I didn’t review any of them earlier! So to help diversify your music collection, here are some tracks I recommend off of A Winter Romance…
1. A Winter Romance –
This title track is unassumingly sweet. Dean croons without trying to impress us, and he’s apparently sober. That’s always a plus.
2. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! –
Here’s a lighthearted number that’ll get stuck in your head every time you see a flurry float past your window. It’s one of my favorite Dean Martin wintertime tunes.
6. Canadian Sunset –
I don’t think I’d be ruffling too many feathers if I came out and said that Dean Martin’s version of “Canadian Sunset” is far superior to Andy Williams’ version. (Or would I?) It just seems like Williams bellows his way through the song in a bland and soulless way. Dino’s version has more warmth and more heart.
8. Out In the Cold Again –
I really wish fewer of his songs would start with a choir singing cheesy chorus lyrics like this one does. [“Out in the cooooooooooooooooooold.”] How unoriginal. Still, it all improves from there. Give it a chance.
12. It Won’t Cool Off –
Here’s one song I’ve never heard before. It appears the only reason the producers included this song on the album is because it had the word “cool” in the title. It otherwise has nothing to do with winter. This song can be enjoyed at any time of the year!