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DVD Review: Christmas Classics By The Fire

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The holiday tradition of listening to Christmas music by the fireplace has never been easier, safer, or eco-friendlier thanks to Capitol Records and their new release, Christmas Classics By The Fireplace.

For sixty-one minutes, the DVD presents a wonderful mix of 23 classic holiday songs, both secular and religious, sung by the likes of traditional pop and jazz singers such as Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, and Dinah Shore. Alongside them are lesser known artists, such as June Christy, Al Martino, and Julie London.

Most of the performances have straightforward and reverent arrangements, but Lou Rawls "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and Peggy Lee "Happy Holiday" offer variety with their jazz treatments. There are also two instrumentals: Ferrante & Teicher’s "Sleigh Ride" and Les Brown’s "Nutcracker Suite". For those that don't know Wayne Newton when he was in his prime, that feminine-sounding voice is in fact him.

The DVD offers three different video options to create a virtual fireplace for your television or computer monitor. “Christmas Scene” is a living room scene with stockings hung over the fireplace, a comfy chair, a decorated tree filled with wrapped presents underneath, and an old record player. As its name indicates, “Full Fireplace” is a close-up with burning logs sitting on a grate and a pair of andirons. Similarly, “Fire Only” moves in even closer, showing just a couple of burning logs.

The audio, which will fill your 5.1 surround system, comes in three options as well. There is "Play All Songs," "Play All Songs With Fire Sounds" and "Fire Sounds Only." The latter two are augmented by the ambiance of a fire crackling with occasional pops. Since the DVD immediately starts over and there's only an hour of music, "Fire Sounds Only" allows you to keep the disc playing without getting bored by it.

See it in action below and you'll be sold:

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About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS
  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    And best of all, you won’t burn the house down after too much egg nog!

    -Glen

  • doug m

    An hour of music doesn’t seem long enough. Years ago, I remember a local tv station running music with not only fireplace images but other holiday/winter visuals. Hmm, wonder if my cable offers something like that?

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    An hour of music isn’t long enough, but that’s what they are offering

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Very cute, El! Merry Christmas to you!

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Back at you, Christine