steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Various Artists

"The Reindeer Room Volume II" 2CD

Kriztal Records

Genres: electronica, chill-out, lounge

15982 NW 48th Avenue
Miami FL 33014

Dec 22 - 28 2003

The Reindeer Room Volume II is the second in Kriztal's very enjoyable collection of holiday compilations, and like the first it's a fresh, breezy collection of laidback remixes and lounge-esque reworkings of a bunch of holiday classics.  Right from the opener, a jazz-tinged electronics-and-vocals mix of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" by DJ Trax, you can tell it's going to be a relaxing if inoffensive affair.

On this installment of the Reindeer Room series, there's lots of good and not much bad.  Generally, all of the songs are pleasant enough to keep the flow going and the mood nice.  LED vs. Panaphonic's neat rendition of "My Favorite Things" is one of the better moments, as is Rudolph & Blitzen's take on one of my favourite holiday tunes, the traditional Welsh carol "Suo Gan."  Charles Afton's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" and Kurbis Blumen's acid jazz-funk take on "We Three Kings" also manage to impress.  And we mustn't forget the lush finale, "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," expertly done by Billy Paul Williams with beautiful vocals courtesy of Nicole Henry.

The Reindeer Room Volume II can be counted on as a pleasant, flowing holiday chill-out compilation.  For those who really get into the Christmas spirit -- fireplace, carols, and all, this compilation is certain to please.

Note: This album comes with two discs; one is a normal audio CD version of the album, while the other is a DVD disc mixed in 5.1 surround sound that plays the music over a video of a burning Yule Log in a fireplace.  It's an environmentally safe alternative to using real firewood!


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 15 tracks, distributed by Amazon, released 2003]