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4.8 out of 5 stars14
4.8 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CDChange
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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2001
If ever an album proved Sinatra's ability to give unalloyed pleasure through sheer, easygoing charm, it is this. In many ways, 'Nice 'n' Easy' is the most undemanding of his Capitol collections, for it neither swings exuberantly nor explores the darker shades of loneliness and regret. You can play it at a dinner party without either giving your friends indigestion or reducing them to tears. However, this does not mean that 'Nice 'n' Easy' is a weak, shapeless or 'half-measure' album: the fact that it does not hit you over the head with its emotionalism, happy or sad, is what makes it such a beautifully judged masterpiece.
The twelve songs originally picked for inclusion on the LP (the finger-snapping title track was actually drafted in late in the day, and displaced Hoagy Carmichael's "The Nearness of You," which is fortunately included on the CD as a bonus track) are all essentially ballads, or sung as such, and there is plenty of tenderness and introspection here. What sets this 1960 album apart from 'Only the Lonely' or 'No-One Cares' is that the tone is elegiac rather than melancholy. This partly results from the choice of material: Sinatra was here very consciously revisiting old successes from the forties, as he was to do in the next few albums for both Capitol and Reprise ('Swingin' Session,' 'Come Swing With Me,' 'I Remember Tommy' and 'Point of No Return'). You can almost touch the nostalgia in this set, and Sinatra caresses these wonderful songs with a grown-up crooning that hints at regrets and losses as well as mature self-confidence.
The other contributory factor to the warm but wistful, 'autumnal' tone of 'Nice 'n' Easy' is, of course, the magical orchestration of Nelson Riddle. His charts are almost always beyond praise, and here he shows why so many singers, from Rosemary Clooney to Linda Ronstadt, have valued him: he always served the singer's needs and the needs of the material, rather than plugging a 'Nelson Riddle sound.' His arrangements here are easy on the brass and heavy on the strings, and the texture is all gossamer delicacy, complementing beautifully the coffee-dark sound of the ageing Sinatra voice.
Two last points in praise of this album in its CD form. First, it is expanded by very well-chosen bonus tracks. Apart from restoring 'The Nearness of You' - a particularly ravishing rendering of this lovely song - the producers have given us material recorded in the early fifties, again Riddle-orchestrated, which fits surprisingly well in tone. (This is a great strength of the Capitol CD reissues generally as against, say, some Verve albums which have nothing more to offer than a row of alternate takes - sometimes of just one number.)
Secondly - and this is, admittedly, a really minor point - the CD is exceptionally well-designed. Now I'm a sucker for fifties style, so I may be ludicrously biased, but I love the way in which the face of the disc and the inlay booklet use design elements from the original cover, and are in pastell-ish shades. So-called 'Easy Listening' CDs are usually pretty 'orrible to handle, but this one is really cool!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 2006
To many, Frank Sinatra was a just crooner who belted out such classics as "My Way" or "New York, New York" and made the girls swoon. What I love about Frank Sinatra, and this album in particular, is the voice and the ease with which he seemed to sing his songs so convincingly.

The vocals on this album are particularly beautiful and I think this is because the album was recorded at a time in his life when his voice had the smoothest, richest quality. Sinatra was also famous for his vocal phrasing and I think it can be most appreciated in this album. He emulated Louis Armstrong's trumpet phrasing by doing a lot of swimming training to give him the lung capacity to sing such long phrases on a single breathe. He had also been through enough by this stage of his life to be able to sing with experience, honesty and straight from his heart. You get the impression that he literally just walked in and recorded each song first go - that's how easy he makes it sound.

This album is as the title suggests "Nice N Easy" - there is a consistent pace and flow to the album which makes for a really pleasant - no, beautiful album to listen to.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 12 October 2009
Unbelievably, this album was critisised on release in 1960 as not being up to par with recent Sinatra ballad collections. However it was a massive best seller and through time has joined the canon of essential Sinatra Capitol classics.Ignore the title track (latched on to due its singles sales success) and enjoy marvellous versions of romantic standards like 'You Go To My Head','That Old Feeling','Nevertheless',How deep Is The Ocean'. This is lovely, intoxicating, mood setting music with Sinatra and Riddle near the peak of their powers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 4 December 2011
This is one of my favourite Sinatra albums. His singing is at his best, with stunning arrangements by Nelson Riddle and a great choice of songs.
What more could you ask for?
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 December 2010
This is a romantic CD, with 15 wistfully rendered tunes by both Sinatra and Nelson Riddle in the accompaniments. The only exception is the gently swinging title track that opens the album. There are 12 tunes from the LP and 4 bonus tracks on the CD. There's a detailed booklet with text written by Pete Welding. As usual, we are given the names of all of the composers, but not timings for the tracks - which are useful for those of us who do some disc-jockeying. But for listeners generally, I guess you wouldn't be listening to an album called Nice `n' Easy if you were bothered by how long each piece was going to take! The album was recorded and released on Capitol in 1960. Overall, seemingly quite effortless magic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 October 2013
One of the best in Easy listening albums. Frank is on top of his voice as he masters the ballads from the 'Great American Song Book'
Nelson Riddle is a genius at work too with the arrangements
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on 31 August 2013
As it appears on the cover of the CD, we hear a number of songs in a relaxed tone and easy. These are songs from the great American songbook. Just swingin albums can be matched. The best.

Tal y como aparece en la carátula del CD, escuchamos una serie de canciones en un tono relajado y facil. Son canciones del gran cancionero americano. Solo los albumenes swingin`pueden igualarse. De lo mejor.
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on 24 December 2012
The early Frank Sinatra recordings were, in my view, the best. Not necessarly accurate in all their aspects, but the overall performance values well outweighed the later recordings.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 August 2010
"Nice n easy" pretty much sums up the whole of this album. You could say that it does exactly what the tins says! This Sinatra album goes a little unnoticed by Sinatra fans,whilst complete ignorance might be a little too harsh it's not really one of Sinatra's best albums to be honest. The nearest point of comparison to "Nice n easy" would be the similar "Point of no return" album (recorded around the same time), an album of straight ballads but one not related to his "Torch" albums like "Only the lonely" etc. I would say that "Point of no return" is the far superior album as the song choices on there are much stronger than that on "Nice n easy"

There are some gems on here though, the title track is a nice mid paced swinger and the only song like this on an album chock full of ballads. The jewel in the crown though would be the absolutely amazing "You go to my head" possibly one of Sinatra's greatest ballads ever with a gorgeous arrangement from nelson Riddle with a lush orchestration and superb vocals. Elsewhere "That Old Feeling" is quite nice and "I've got a crush on you" is also superb, "She's funny that way" is quite charming and "The nearness of you" is welcomingly restored to the album after being left off to make way for "Nice n easy". Apart from those i really couldn't get excited about the song choices for this album,all sung superbly of course but just a little so so as songs go.

If you want a decent ballads (non torch albums) set from Sinatra go for "Point of no return" as overall the songs are much stonger on that album. Of course Sinatra completists will want this in their collection and rightly so. Probably worth getting for "You go to my head" alone to be honest though!

Actually 3.5 stars out of 5 but amazon won't let you do half marks!
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on 3 April 2011
A very good CD. I presented it to my father for his birthday, but I can appreciate Frank 'ole blue eyes' Sinatra too.
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