This is a disc that Jack the Pumpkin King would make. But far from being a nightmare before Christmas, this is actually a pretty good CD, if not just a tad bit cheesy. For those not wanting to unearth old Burl Ives records or the dated, but effective Very Special Christmas CDs, Reindeer Room will give your holiday proceedings an aura of coolness. There arent many CDs like this and the uniqueness of it scores points, but not many. The songs would sound better if people were talking over them and in that case it works. I can imagine that hip clothing stores will play this CD to death as well as last years alterna-rock compilation Maybe This Christmas.
One of the most inexplicable things about this CD is the art they chose for the cover. It evokes everything that is sad about the holidays so I wonder why they decided on this particular depiction.
Of course its a gimmick that they include a DVD of what they call a Yule log, but its actually just a camera pointed at a fireplace for an hour. Thankfully, they remixed the sound into 5.1, but sitting and looking at a log burning gets old fast. Kind of like opening a toy that you thought was going to be cool but actually was a cheap piece of crap that you forgot about. And the songs are about as forgettable as that Tobor thing from Radio Shack I got when I was nine. But it works as background music for getting you in the mood for better things like food, sex, and hugs from people you care about. They even say in the liner notes that it should be listened to while doing other things like baking cookies, decorating the tree, or opening your presents. The sound on the DVD is marginally better than the CD. The 5.1 mix is clear and the little tricks they use are effective.
Ultimately, this Volume II fills the niche for this type of thing completely and if they do a Volume III, the market will be over saturated.