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The Project-Album #1

April 30, 2008

Alright, my first post regarding “The Project”!!! This is exciting!! (for more information on “The Project”, see link at the top of the page. It should explain everything.)

Album #1–In The Wee Small Hours

Artist–Frank Sinatra

Release– 1955

Why it is awesome– The same things that made Sinatra famous shine through in this album. His instantly recognizable voice is used to the best of its ability, and every note seems to be completely effortless on his part. One of the beautiful things about Sinatra’s singing is that he has mastered the technique so well, every word comes out clean, fresh, and flows seamlessly into the next. Because the songs are slow and melancholy, there isn’t much room to hide imperfections. Thus, each note is exactly what it needs to be. He doesn’t go out of his way to over-embellish (a definite plus); each song speaks for itself. Further, his voice evokes a sort of intimacy, a picture into his mind and heart. It is clear to me he especially picked each song to represent exactly what he wanted to say, and each song was recorded just for this album. Sinatra doesn’t ever just sing the words-he sings his soul, and one finds the story of his life in the lyrics.

What isn’t so awesome–Wow, to find a bone to pick with Frank Sinatra. I don’t know if I can do it. But frankly, I think you really have to be in the mood for an album like this. It would be great to listen to as you fall asleep. Or a great break-up album, perhaps. If you’re looking for something to get you rollin’ in the morning, this is not it. The lyrics are kind of depressing for the most part, and his slow tempo and melancholy overtones really don’t do much to lighten the mood.

What Makes this Album a Standout–Well, Overall, this is a well-crafted album. One doesn’t expect much less than that from an artist like Sinatra. However, This album is most noteworthy for its unity throughout, and the harmony that exists between all the songs. The entire album is arranged around a few central themes (loneliness, sadness, lost love), and all the songs are stylistically quite similar, making this one of the earliest concept albums in pop music history.

My favorite song–probably “Deep in a Dream.” There is some great imagery in the lyrics of this one, and it wasn’t to overwhelmingly depressing, either. In fact, There was a simple, undecorated kind of sweetness about it.

Final Consensus–yes, I think this is an album that belongs on everyone’s shelf. Sinatra certainly has plenty of redeeming qualities in his art, and even in the sadness there is a kind of honesty that is hard to come by these days.


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2 Comments leave one →
  1. dan permalink
    December 15, 2008 11:15 pm

    I think he recorded this album soon after his divorce from Ava Gardner, who he had left his first wife Nancy & his kids for…Ave was the great love of Frank’s life & they fought constantly, so it was the love not meant to be…so this is collection of songs to drink & kill yourself to actually…LOL, except Frank came close to doing that over Ava…the Oscar for From Here to Eternity & meeting Humphrey Bogart probably saved his life…

  2. December 15, 2008 11:39 pm

    wow, way to dig up my first post. haha
    You’re right though. I’ve heard that story too. Hey! Ava Gardner actually grew up not too far from where I live 🙂 they have a museum for her, haha.

    I’ve never been all that familiar with Frank Sinatra, at least not beyond the basics. Thats partly why I stopped writing these “project posts.” I found out I didn’t know enough to be able to talk about them well at all.

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