One year after In The Wee Small Hours Frank Sinatra recorded Songs For Swingin' Lovers which, in my personal opinion, is an overall masterpiece in this genre of music.
Vocally, Frank is right on target. On the album In The Wee Small Hours his presentation was not nearly as solid. I heard hardly any pitch issues whatsoever, and the scooping issues noted on the last album were definitely done more tastefully and far less often. Frank's voice is ridiculously easy to listen to. Throughout this entire album, which has a "let's have fun because we are in love" theme, it sounds as though Frank is not even trying at all. This gives the album a conversational feel that is really fun to listen to.
Each arrangement on this album is well put together, and the backing band is flawless. Musically, the album was fun to listen to, but about 3/4 of the way through, my attention began to falter a bit. When an artist does something well, it is easy to do that one thing over and over again. It feels good to the performer and it feels good to the audience. It's comfortable and easy. However, while this albums is very enjoyable to the ear, the songs are so similar in style that they almost blend together into one long vocal jazz odyssey. While this can get a little tedious, it isn't all bad. If you like one of the songs on this album, you most definitely will like the album in its entirety.
Verdict: This one is easy. If you are a fan of Frank Sinatra, you should definitely listen to this before you die. If not, you should still listen to it, but it may become boring about midway through. My recommendation is to listen to this album as background music. Lyrically it's not all that special, but the smoothness in Frank's voice mixed with the great arrangements is well worth the price of admission.