Sunday, July 22, 2012

#1: Frank Sinatra - In The Wee Small Hours (1955)

There's no denying Frank is one of the all time greats. He's influenced damn near every musician since 1950. Some of my favorite musicians clearly draw from him, for instance Jamie Cullum. 'In The Wee Small Hours' is Frank's 9th studio album and was released in April of 1955. The album was well received and reached number 2 on the US charts staying there for 19 weeks.

In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning:
One of my favorite crooner songs of all time. Frank proves why he's an icon right off the bat. His deep, rich baritone glides through the song with a somber yet peaceful feel to it. While I would classify the strings and production as "standard crooner style" I start to wonder if this is the album that made this a staple. The strings are meant to be heard at times and are felt more often than not, carrying the emotion of the song.

Glad to Be Unhappy:
Personally, I think that Frank's voice on this is the reason people fell in love with him. It's such a beautiful tone that's not spoken as much as it is sung with no confusion over the words being spoken.

Can't We Be Friends:
This is the point where people will start stoning me in the comments... I prefer Jamie Cullum over Frank Sinatra. Both have recorded this song and have made it their own. Both are amazing versions. Granted, Frank Sinatra helped to pioneer the idea of crooning, however, I find Sinatra's version to be dated. In fact, I find most of this album to sound dated. However, that doesn't take away from what Sinatra has done - it only proves his overwhelming reach on popular music.

All in all, it's an incredibly well done album - it's just not my taste. I'd really like to make this review longer because I wish I had enjoyed it more than I did. I find myself, however, viewing it more as a lesson in music history than I do a piece of entertainment. If you love crooners such as Frank, I'm sure you'll love this album. If you're coming from more of a Michael Buble' background - it may not be as pop-centric as you'd like it to be.

This album was chosen from the book '1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die' 1/1001

Tomorrow's Album: Billy Joel's 52nd Street (1978)

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