The first album on the list is Frank Sinatra's In The Wee Small Hours released in 1955. The album is a concept album and generally hovers over the theme of lament and lost love. Here are my overall impressions.
This album has classy and impressive arrangements in both the vocal and instrumental parts. Frank is THE crooner, scoops and all. His voice pours out like honey and is suited perfectly for this style of music. However, he rarely gets to a note without sliding up to it, especially on the higher parts of the melody. This is not necessarily a negative though as it adds character and a raw quality that is missing in our modern day world of auto tuned vocals. The album is well pieced together, but may be difficult for the modern listener to sit through without doing something else at the same time. Most of the songs begin to sound very similar, which could become incredibly boring to listen to if you aren't actively trying to hear all of the nuances in each song. For the everyday listener, this album would be perfect background music while conversing with friends over dinner and maybe a nice bottle of wine. On the other hand, for the musically inclined this is definitely an album to listen to with full attention both vocally and instrumentally.
Verdict: This is truly a classic and should be heard at least once before you die. Enjoy it with friends or as relaxing background music after a long day. If you are looking for musical variety on a single album however, look elsewhere.