Frank Sinatra - Songs for Swingin' Lovers! (1956), 5/10

One of the more popular Sinatra releases that I respect and enjoy even though it isn't my preferred style from the Chairman. Of course "You Make Me Feel So Young" is legendary, but the rest of these songs very quickly start to run together and fade into obscurity apart from perhaps the outstanding melodies in the fantastic three song stretch “Love Is Here to Stay”, “Pennies From Heaven” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”. Even his rendition of “Makin’ Whoopee” is a disappointing effort and should have been more impressive given Sinatra’s talents. The album becomes another set of decent performances of some over-done standards. It is a nice change of pace after In The Wee Small Hours but doesn't feature a unique sense of grace like its predecessor and does not make as bold a statement. Yet like his previous record it drags on too long without doing anything outstanding enough to be considered among his best. Even Sinatra’s performance style, while technically great, is simply better suited to his other, cleaner sensibilities that highlight his talent for nuance and sustained, thoughtful elegance. The band sounds out of its element in moments, adhering to the swing, yet playing at a very surface level of excitement rather than a cavernous, charged affection that Riddle’s orchestra, and the later featured Jenkins orchestra, are capable of. In a seemingly common theme of the era, Songs for Swingin’ Lovers is great for a soothing, orthodox listening experience but does not have the staying power of Sinatra’s later, greater works.